A reunion with good friends: conductor Manfred Honeck is a popular guest in Hamburg, and in this concert the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra’s longstanding partnership with Frank Peter Zimmermann likewise goes into a new round. This time, the exceptional violinist performs two rarely heard works: the »Suite concertante« by Bohuslav Martinů and Béla Bartók’s Rhapsody No. 2. After the interval, Gustav Mahler’s First Symphony is on the programme.
NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester
Frank Peter Zimmermann violin
conductor Manfred Honeck
Béla Bartók (1881–1945)
Rhapsody für violin und orchestra No. 2 Sz 90
Bohuslav Martinů (1890–1959)
Suite concertante for violin and orchestra in d minor
- Interval -
Gustav Mahler (1860–1911)
Symphony No. 1 in D Major »Titan«
About the programme
Long-ignored repertoire gems
The »Suite concertante« is just one of several works for violin and orchestra by the Czech composer Martinů that have almost completely sunk into oblivion. After its US premiere in 1945, the world had to wait no less than 50 years for it to be performed in Europe at all. As if the composer had foreseen that fate that would befall his virtuoso and sophisticated-sounding music, he made use in the suite’s closing rondo of an idea from his Violin Concerto No. 1, which was likewise the subject of neglect…
Inspired by East European folk music
What makes Martinů’s music so appealing was the subject of systematic research for his Hungarian colleague Béla Bartók. While there are reminiscences of several Moravian folk tunes in the Czech composer’s suite, Bartók devotes himself entirely to the musical tradition of Transylvania in his Rhapsody No. 1 for Violine and Orchestra: the orchestra imitates the sound of village bands, and the violin indulges in the »verbunkos« style of playing that fluctuates between boasting and melancholy.
Embracing the whole world
The sounds of his native province of Bohemia also figure in Gustav Mahler’s First Symphony, an exuberant work of his youth. But the symphony really embraces the entire world, with all its (natural) beauty, as well as its dark depths.