Our Stravinsky festival continues with three more pieces.
Stravinsky’s war symphony
In his Symphony in Three Movements, Stravinsky processed some of the images of Second World War battlefields that he was exposed to in his new homeland, the United States. This is not illustrative or programme music, so there is nothing to be gained by looking for emotional choices or indignation in the symphony; rather, images of war function as a point of departure for the compositions.
The first movement commences with great drama and is hurried throughout, although it also has elements of jazz. The movement’s starting point is a documentary film on the Japanese Army’s scorched-earth tactics in China. Given its serious theme, the second movement is bafflingly breezy. The overall impression is one of elegance, while the woodwind’s melodic lines are playful and mocking. The unruly introduction to the third movement provides a brutal awakening. The twisted melodies are inspired by goose stepping German soldiers, the stechschritt, with straight legs raised high. Stravinsky himself conducted the premiere in New York on 24 January 1946.
Visually rich ballet score
The ballet Petrushka is a triangle drama between three puppets that takes place during the carnival at the Shrovetide Fair in St. Petersburg. The puppet Petrushka is besotted with the beautiful Ballerina but she only has eyes for the handsome Moor. That said, one could just as easily imagine this music accompanying the tomfoolery of an early Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck film. It is clear that Stravinsky’s output from this period was one of the blueprints used by film composers when establishing the tonal language for animated films in the 1920s and ‘30s. The music is highly visual; clearly depicting the jerky movements of the puppets, as well as the glittering sun on the cobblestones at the beginning of the fourth tableau. Not to mention the bear, which makes a conspicuous and lumbering entrance in the market square scene.
Petrushka was first performed in Paris in 1911, with Vaslav Nijinsky in the starring role. Two years later, he would act as choreographer for The Rites of Spring.
The unstoppable force of fate
Opera-oratorio Oedipus Rex (King Oedipus) is based on Sophocles' tragedy which dates from 400 BCE and deals with the vain attempts of a royal family to avoid the fates predicted for them by the oracle at Delphi on the birth of their son; namely, that he would kill his father and marry his mother. Naturally, events unfold as foretold by the oracle, even if there are a number of unexpected twists and turns along the way.
The libretto was written in French by Jean Cocteau, although it was later translated into Latin. This may sound slightly odd given that Oedipus is a Greek myth and that very few people speak Latin these days; however, Stravinsky settled on the language because, as the composer put it, it is "a medium not dead but turned to stone”. A narrator is generally employed on stage to summarise and tie-up events in the language of the audience.
The work premiered in Paris in 1927. It contains ominous, powerful parts performed by a male chorus, as well as sensitive arias and ardent duets. Stravinsky had a deep interest in Greek mythology and also wrote three ballets on similar themes in Orpheus, Apollon Musagète and Agon.
Malmö SymfoniOrkester (MSO) grundades 1925 och består av ca 90 heltidsanställda yrkesmusiker från nästan 20 länder. Orkestern är stolt bärare av den traditionella symfoniska repertoaren, men strävar också efter att föra den symfoniska musiken framåt genom samarbeten med nutida tonsättare och utveckling av nya konsertkoncept.
Flera inspelningar med Malmö SymfoniOrkester har under åren blivit internationellt uppmärksammade med första pris i tävlingar som Cannes Classical Awards och Diapason d’Or. I augusti 2013 inledde orkestern tillsammans med chefsdirigent Marc Soustrot det omfattande arbetet att spela in all symfonisk musik av Camille Saint-Saëns, allt som allt åtta CDs, på skivbolaget Naxos.
Läs mer om Malmö SymfoniOrkester genom att klicka här.
Robert Trevino chefsdirigent
Den amerikanske dirigenten Robert Trevino fick sitt internationella genombrott när han 2013 med kort varsel ersatte Malmö SymfoniOrkesters förre chefsdirigent Vassily Sinaisky i ett projekt vid Bolsjojteatern i Moskva med lysande recensioner som följd. Det ledde till flera nya engagemang med ledande orkestrar. Trevino har studerat för David Zinman som Aspen Conducting Fellow vid Aspen Music Festival and School och därefter, 2011, för James Levine som Seiji Ozawa Conducting Fellow vid Tanglewood Music Festival. Hans samarbeten med ledande orkestrar i USA och Europa innefattar bland andra Cleveland Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony och Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra.
Från och med säsongen 2019–20 är Robert Trevino chefsdirigent för Malmö SymfoniOrkester.
Last updated 2020-07-07
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DURATION: appraox. 2 hours incl. intermission
Stravinsky Symphony in Three Movements
- intermission -
Stravinsky Oedipus Rex (concert performance)
Malmö Symphony Orchestra
Robert Trevino, conductor
Jennifer Johnston, Iokaste/mezzo
Toby Spence, Oidipus/tenor
Fredrik Zetterström, Kreon/Budbäraren/bas-baryton
Petri Lindroos, Tiresias/bas
Adam Frandsen, Herden/tenor
More to be preseted
Concert introduction at the Canal stage 6pm with
ORGANIZER: Malmö Live Konserthus