The Rites of Spring will be presented twice this week in an investigation of how the experience of the work is altered by the preceding work.
The Rites of Spring, the definitive work of Stravinsky’s early Russian period (1908-1919), is here juxtaposed with works from his later periods. Ebony Concerto, Symphonies of Wind Instruments and Apollon Musagète represent his neoclassical period (1920-1954), while In Memoriam Dylan Thomas is a work from is later serial period (1954-1968).
Stravinsky goes cool
It is hardly strange that Stravinsky’s powerful and harmonically challenging music was right up the alley of many jazz musicians. In 1945, jazz clarinettist and band leader Woody Herman commissioned a concert from the Russian, the fruit of which was the Ebony Concerto. Stravinsky chose to utilise the Baroque concerto-grosso form, with a more sedate middle movement. The first movement is rhythmically complex, with angular melodies and sudden flights of fancy. The second movement might well be Stravinsky’s coolest piece, with its mysterious, winding melodic progressions and bass lines. It would not have been out of place on one of Miles Davis’ experimental albums; 1970’s Bitches Brew for example. The final movement maintains a similar tempo and mood, although it is more energetic.
Rage against the dying of the light
The dirge In Memoriam Dylan Thomas is a setting of the poet’s “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night”, his admonition to struggle against the infirmity of old age and death itself. Dylan Thomas wrote the poem in memory of his father and Stravinsky in turn uses the poem to mourn the death of Thomas, who died in 1953. The work was written during the composer’s serial period and uses only five notes. The poem itself had a prominent position in the 2014 science fiction film Interstellar.
Symphonies of Wind Instruments
This is not a symphony: the word symphony has Greek roots meaning sounding together as well as more usual definition of harmonious composition. It is in this original meaning that Stravinsky uses the word in the title of this short work for woodwind and brass. It begins with alarming fanfares that borrow their melodies from Russian folk music. The contemplative conclusion is based on a chorale for piano dedicated to Claude Debussy, who died in March 1918. The orchestral work was completed in 1920 and can be viewed as a transitional work between Stravinsky’s Russian ‘primitive’ period and his neoclassical period.
Apollo in Chanel
With the ballet Apollon Musagète Stravinsky entered into a long and fruitful collaboration with the choreographer, and his countryman, George Balanchine, a youthful 24 at the time. The work deals with god of the arts Apollo and his efforts to teach three of the muses their respective arts and to lead them up Mount Parnassus.
This is the first work in which Stravinsky made in-depth use of his interest in Greek mythology, a subject he would return to throughout his career. Apollo Musagète had its European premiere with the Ballets Russes in Paris in 1928 and the following year Coco Chanel created new costumes for the show.
Beauty, eroticism and brutality
Consider The Rites of Spring as the high point preceding the catastrophe. The period around its premiere in 1913 saw a torrent of creativity in both science and the arts. Niels Bohr presented his model of the atom, Einstein was working on his theory of general relativity, Marcel Duchamp was creating his bicycle wheel. Stravinsky’s music encompasses both this innovative energy and the savagery that blossomed in the world the following year. The work revolves around pagan ritual and human sacrifice. When the sacrificial victim falls to the ground on the final chord, it foreshadows the death of a generation of young men on the battlefields of Europe.
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 dirigent
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 2020-04-10
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DURATION: approax. 2 hours incl. intermission
Stravinsky Ebony Concerto
Stravinsky In Memoriam Dylan Thomas
Stravinsky Symphonies of Wind Instruments
Stravinsky Apollon Musagète
- intermission -
Stravinsky The Rites of Spring
Malmö Symphony Orchestra
Robert Trevino, conductor
Andrea Scaffardi, clarinett
Concert introduction at the Canal stage 6pm with
ORGANIZER: Malmö Live Konserthus