British composer Julian Anderson is played by many of the world’s leading orchestras, so it’s no wonder the chief conductor Czech Philharmonic Orchestra she chose him and offered him a creative order for a new song. The composition process itself Prague panoramas then she opened a book of photographs by Josef Sudek Panoramic Prague (1959), which represent the black and white scenery of Prague’s largest architectural monuments. Julian Anderson is suing her in one of London’s galleries. It is a pity that some of the photos were not added to the commentary on the song in the program ticket. It facilitated the listener’s path to this bold compositional act.
The symphony is two-part in a fast-slow schedule. The first movement is based on the compositional means of twentieth-century classics, as it grows out of the sharp rhythm of modern chords, on which the author hangs variable melodic passages. The music is developed on the basis of a methodology presented, for example, by Arthur Honegger in a triptych of symphonic movements from the 1920s (this includes, for example, the well-known well-known Pacific 231). However, Anderson goes further in the depths of contrasts in the metro-rhythms of the individual layers or in the timbre equipment of the composition. Overall first sentence his symphony is a sympathetic orchestral part that keeps attention from beginning to end. Among other things, also because the listener is already ready to listen to such music. However, the second movement benefits from the compositional method of the spectalists (see, for example, the work of today’s 75-year-old Tristan Muraille and others) and I must listen in a completely different way. Here, the experience of our listener weakens somewhat. The point is, according to the pattern of interplay of aliquot tones, there is a smooth orchestral sound, which can change in its structure. The main form interfaces also take place here, and a certain analogy with the plasticity of Sudek’s legendary photographs can also be found here. Anderson in the score second sentence prescribes an almost permanent playing of the string apparatus, to which it then hangs various jackets of wood, winds or drums and with this technique creates dynamic waves. The fact that its harmony selection contains both tonal and modal features serves in favor of the nobility of the sound result. When evaluating the new symphony, we can work with the following hypothesis: first sentence its invoice dilution forms a space for its complementary completion the second sentence. However, I am afraid that the mechanism of music perception only partially evaluates this relationship as an artistic intention.
Young island pianist Víkungur Ólafsson (born 1984) in the presentation of the introductory topic in F minor from Mozart’s free sentences Piano Concerto No. 23 touched the sky. There was such a constellation of building phrases, plasticity and key nuances that the result elevated the listener to a higher sphere. Once again, it turned out that real art does not have to take place on a colossal scale and with the assistance of big gestures. The human soul can be struck to a great depth on a “few brush strokes”. The pianist played the whole concert great, but there is no need to write about certain techniques and interplay with the orchestra in other movements, compared to the free movement, this is a matter of course. However, thanks to such an interpretation, I will remember the second sentence for a long time. Ólafsson (that is, the son of Ólaf – this is how the surname of Icelandic men is formed) has an unmissable form with the young Jaroslav Ježek. He grew close to the Prague audience like his Czech double. He added Bach and recalled in a short English speech the recently deceased pianist Radu Lupa and his Czech teacher from his youth. I would like to listen to this young Icelander’s piano lyrics forever.
The second half of the evening belonged to an iconic work of the twentieth century – music for ballet Rite of spring by Igor Stravinsky. It does not need to be introduced for a long time, rather it is necessary to point out new aspects in the performance of this work, which brings an ever-deepening time gap since its prime ministers in 1913. It arrives in its conception to capture the animality and degenerative tendencies of the so-called pagan culture, and it is possible that Stravinsky wanted to portray such a culture in its sound mix. After all, his tendencies to illustrate musical expression are also evident in works that Rite of spring surround! Today, we return little to the ballet processing of this score, but it must be seen that it also received a certain hallmark of the expression thanks to the original choreographic format. It can be seen on YouTube.
Interpretation concept Semjona Byčkova follows, of course, the concert lines performing the songs. Here, the edges in the originally theatrical expression are being sharpened and the requirements for the continuity of the orchestral sound are emphasized. Byčkov gives space to the emotionality of melodic lines and solos do not lose nobility in its regulation. Rhythmic drive remains the backbone of interpretation. The Czech Philharmonic meets its concept in its Slavic mood. Therefore, there were also groups of wind and percussion instruments in stock, which enthusiastically power. Byčkovo Ordination It is great and it is no wonder that there are a lot of fans in the world. Thanks to the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and its chief conductor, we experienced an extraordinary evening again in the Rudolfinum.
Czech Philharmonic – Víkingur Ólafsson
April 20, 2022, 7:30 p.m.
Julian Anderson: Symphony No. 2 Prague Panoramas (Czech premiere)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 23 in A major, KV 488
Igor Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring
Víkingur Ólafsson – piano
Semyon Byckov – conductor
Czech Philharmonic Orchestra