concert nr 61 / CLOSING CONCERT

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hour 20:30 (50 minutes)
day 29.09 Sunday

music category Orchestral


Sinfonia Varsovia
Diana Tishchenko violin
Nicholas Angelich piano
Aleksandar Marković  conductor


Grażyna Bacewicz Overture for String Orchestra
Pablo de Sarasate Caprice Basque  Op. 24
Camille Saint-Saëns Bacchanale from the opera “Samson and Delilah”
Mikhail Glinka Capriccio brillante on the Jota Aragonesa (Spanish Overture No. 1)
Franz Liszt Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-flat major


Grażyna Bacewicz’s Overture for Orchestra is based on a characteristic rhythmic motif, reminiscent of the “motif of fate” in Beethoven’s 5th Symphony. But that’s not all. In Morse code, three dots and one dash stand for the letter “V”, which is associated with the word “victory”. The Overture was written in Warsaw during the Nazi occupation. Perhaps this was the composer’s method of protesting against the aggressors?

Pablo de Sarasate was a Spanish violin virtuoso living at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. His fame travelled far and wide and Henryk Wieniawski, our own Polish virtuoso, dedicated his 2nd Violin Concerto to Sarasate. Referring to works written by Sarasate, playwright and music critic George Bernard Shaw said: “there were many composers of music for the violin, but there were but few composers of violin music”.

Bacchanalia were the Roman festivals celebrating the god Bacchus, featuring the bacchanale – ecstatic dancing to honour the god of wine and merriment. The dance became popular in the 20th century. One example is in Camille Saint-Saëns’ opera Samson and Delilah. A stylised bacchanale is the music in act III, when Delilah dances in front of Samson, provoking and taunting him.

Jota Aragonesa is a genre of Spanish music and dance which uses the castanets. Mikhail Glinka’s Caprice brillant Jota aragonesa features colourful instrumentation, with the sound of the guitar imitated by pizzicato of the string instruments and by the harp.

The highlight of the concert will be Franz Liszt’s 1st Piano Concerto. This is a monumental, symphonic work written between 1830 and 1849. According to sources, Liszt took such a long time to complete the work because he was working on the instrumentation – it was one of his first symphonic works. The composer strived to achieve a balance between the piano and the orchestra. After the first performance of the Concerto in 1849, Liszt continued to rewrite parts of the work, introducing significant changes in the score.

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