Glorious Brahms and Lyrical Wagner

How wonderful it is for me to the invite everyone to my very first concert with the KWS after my nomination last March. It is a special moment for me and for the orchestra and I feel lucky and privileged to be part of this new adventure.

The program we are going to share with you it is by far the most romantic Germanic concert with the great symphonist Brahms and the opera composer Wagner.

It will be my first collaboration with the Canadian Mezzo-soprano Krisztina Szabó and we are happy to present you the Wesendonck Lieder of Wagner. It’s a small cycle of 5 songs from 5 poems written by Mathilde Wesendonck who fell in love with Wagner and this was a pretext for the composer to spend time with her. It is a very intimate music which prepared the great opera Tristan und Isolde.

To open the concert I chose the Meistersinger von Nürnberg overture. It came to me very clearly that I wanted to share with everybody an opening piece that sounds like a celebration. Indeed, this piece is a hymnus to art, to music. I already hear in my mind this overture in the amazing acoustics of the Raffi Armenian Theatre in the Centre in the Square. So there is no better way for me to play my first notes after what happened last season.

Brahms is always a unique composer for every performer. His music is so hard the decode sometimes that it’s fascinating to try go as far as we can into this adventure. For me Brahms is the perfect balance between intellect and emotion. Every single note is carefully written in the score, nothing is there by chance or luck.

The second symphony is in a way his Pastoral symphony. Even if the end of the piece is very glorious, there is always something melancholic hidden in the music. But this was Brahms, a very shy person and his real emotions were hard to know. I think this melancholy of the 2nd Symphony goes perfectly well with this time of the year, October and November. This piece is constructed from a very short motiv of 3 notes expressed by the cellos at the beginning of the piece. There is the genius of Brahms by creating an entire symphony from nothing.

I am looking forward to come back and develop my relationship with the orchestra and the audience. This will be the beginning of a very long and fun adventure. I hope to see you there.