About the Event
The first half of the concert pays tribute to percussion instruments, while the second half focuses on a beloved classic piece. Béla Bartók, a renowned Hungarian composer, pianist, and musicologist, was a prominent figure in 20th century European music. He passed away in exile in the United States in 1945, after fleeing there in 1940. Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta was specifically commissioned by Swiss conductor Paul Sacher for the tenth anniversary of his Basel Chamber Orchestra. Bartók expressed his vision for a composition consisting of strings and percussion instruments, with the addition of piano, celesta, and xylophone, all incorporating intricate rhythms. The premiere of this new masterpiece took place in Basel on January 21, 1937, and it has since become recognized as one of the most significant works of the 20th century.
David Chesky, an American pianist, composer, music producer, and publisher, is a versatile artist known for his genre‐shifting approach and utilization of modern technologies. He has composed orchestral works, pieces for chamber ensembles, solo piano compositions, operas, and ballet music, earning numerous accolades for his creative endeavors. His collection of approximately 20 concertos for various instruments is collectively known as "Urban Concertos." Each concerto consists of three movements, and the titles of these movements reflect the literal meaning of the word "movement," capturing aspects of tempo, energy, and the sounds of the bustling city. In Piano Concerto No. 3, the prominent role of percussion instruments is highlighted, along with the incorporation of Latin American and jazz rhythms.
Ludwig van Beethoven's set of nine symphonies stands as a cornerstone in musical history. Composers from subsequent generations who aimed to establish themselves in the symphonic genre were inevitably compared to Beethoven. Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92, was commenced by Beethoven in October 1811. Aware of the gradual decline of his hearing, he diligently undertook his compositional tasks, simultaneously working on his Eighth Symphony. Despite the challenges he faced at the time, including health and financial difficulties, disagreements with his brother Johann, and the illness of his second brother Karl, both the Seventh and Eighth Symphonies exude a cheerful and even‐tempered mood. Symphony No. 7 blends the pathos of the renowned Fifth Symphony with the vivacious joy found in the Sixth. It was the exuberant finale, in particular, that led Richard Wagner to describe this Symphony in A major as the "apotheosis of the dance."
- Béla Bartók – Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta, Sz 106
- David Chesky – Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 3
- Ludwig van Beethoven – Symphony No. 7
Cast / Production
Czech National Symphony Orchestra
Steven Mercurio, conductor
Maxim Lando, piano