(Doborján, Austria 1811 - Bayreuth, Germany 1886)
Mephisto-Walz no. 1
Der Tanz in der Dorfschenke
(Mephisto Waltz no.1. The dance in the village tavern)
(1861) – 12′
Märchentänze for violin and orchestra
(2021) National premiere at L'Auditori - 15′
II. Giusto, ritmico
III. A Skylark. Presto, molto espressivo
Pekka Kuusisto, violin
Co-commissioned by L'Auditori, the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra.
INTERVAL 20 '
(Paris 1899 - 1963)
Les Biches. suite
(1940) – 16′
“Hotel suite” no. 3 from the opera Powder her face
(1995/2018) - Premiere at L'Auditori - 18′
II. Scene with Song
III. Wedding March
THOMAS ADÈS, CONDUCTOR
PEKKA KUUSISTO, VIOLIN
FIRST VIOLINS Gergana Gergova *, concertino guest / Jaha Lee, concertino associated / Raúl García, concertino assistant / Sarah Bels / Walter Ebenberger / Ana Galán / Natalia Mediavilla / Katia Novell / Pilar Pérez / Anca Ratiu / Jordi Salicrú / Paula Banciu * / Yulia Tsuranova * / Eduardo Canto * SECOND VIOLINS Emil Bolozan, assistant / Maria José Balaguer / Patricia Bronisz / Clàudia Farrés / Mireia Llorens / Melita Murgea / Robert Tomàs / Andrea Duca * / Gabriel Graells * / Oleksandr Sora * / Elitsa Yancheva * VIOLAS Yuval Gotlibovich *, guest soloist / Christine de Lacoste / Franck Heudiard / Sophie Lasnet / Michel Millet / Miquel Serrahima / Jennifer Stahl / Irene Argüello * / Peter Bucknell * / Johan Rondón * / Amaia Ruano * CELLOS Jose Mor, soloist / Lourdes Duñó / Vincent Ellegiers / Marc Galobardes / Jean Baptiste Texier / Jonathan Cottle * / Carmen Enjamio * DOUBLE BASSES Christoph Rahn, soloist / Dmitri Smyshlyaev, assistant / Jonathan Camps / Apostol Kosev / Josep Mensa / Albert Prat FLUTES Christian Farroni, assistant / Beatriz Cambrils / Oihana Giménez, flautí OBOES Disa English, soloist / José Juan Pardo / Dolores Chiralt, assistant / Molly Judson, English horn CLARINETS Josep Fuster, assistant / Lluís Casanova *, clarinet and bass clarinet / Alfons Reverté, bass clarinet / Robindro Nikolic *, bass clarinet BASSOONS Silvia Coricelli, soloist / Noah Cantú / Thomas Greaves, assistant / Slawomir Krysmalski, contrabassoon HORNS Juan Manuel Gómez, soloist / Joan Aragó / Juan Conrado García, assistant / David Bonet / Ivan Carrascosa * TRUMPETS Angel Serrano, assistant / Carlos Leite * / Andreu Moros * TROMBONES Eusebio Sáez, soloist / Antoni Duran * / Gaspar Montesinos, assistant / Faustino Núñez *, bass trombone TUBA José Vicente Climent * TIMPANI Marc Pino PERCUSSION Juan Francisco Ruiz / Ignasi Vila / José Luis Carreres * / Manuel Roda * HARP Magdalena Barrera, soloist PIANO and CELESTA Neus Estarellas* SAXOPHONES Luis Ignacio Gascón * / Ailen Lazo *
ORCHESTRA MANAGER Walter Ebenberger
MUSICAL DOCUMENTATION MANAGER Begoña Pérez
TECHNICAL MANAGER Ignasi Valero
STAGE CREW Luis Hernández *
by Asier Puga
Dance, dance, damn you!
In 1526, influenced by the (moral) atmosphere of the magical Venice that Vivaldi also knew, Titian, a creator of incomparable religious paintings but also an artist who, according to Alexandre Dumas, was one of ‘the most complete, most sensual, and the most pagan of the Renaissance', painted The Bacchanal of the Andrians, an impressive canvas that celebrates and vindicates the worldly pleasures of Duke Alfonso d'Este. Like Tiziano, this programme seems to add to this vindication of the mundane, but summoning it from a musical perspective, a melodious liturgy through several works directly related to different degrees with those pleasures which eventually make us equal.
Undoubtedly, Thomas Adès is one of the great figures of current musical practice, who combines composition with conducting, piano performance, and the interest in blending aesthetics and periods in his programmes in such an original way as exemplified in this concert.
The programme begins with the orchestral version of Franz Liszt's Mephisto Waltz No. 1, one of his iconic pieces composed in the same period as the famous piano version. Inspired by Nikolaus Lenau's Faust, Liszt selected the episode in which Faust and Mephistopheles enter a tavern where a wedding is taking place. Mephistopheles picks up a violin and begins to play a melody that draws everyone present into a frenzied dance. Faust, after having danced with the bride, escapes with her into the forest and, protected by the foliage, the couple ‘are swallowed up by the impetuous waves of amorous rapture', as Lenau defined it.
Within Adès' catalogue, the violin plays a prominent role, Märchentänze being the second work he has composed for violin and orchestra after Concentric Path (2015). If in Concentric Path he drew from the aesthetics of Ligeti and Brahms to pop culture, in Märchentänze Adès draws his inspiration almost exclusively from English folklore. The violinist will be the Finnish Pekka Kuusisto, a renowned interpreter of Adès' works, with whom he has recently premiered the two versions of Märchentänze, the violin and piano duet that Adès composed for Tokyo 2020, and the version for violin and orchestra, which will be the one heard in this concert.
"There's enough melodrama in life, let's let art celebrate ordinary things," the ballet seems to claim. Parade of Satie, which premiered in 1917, a ballet that marked the beginning of a new stage in French musical creation. After the premiere of Parade, the young French composers who revered Satie were longing to get rid of the impressionist halo (at that time already a stereotype) and celebrate the artistic transfiguration every day. In this context, Diághilev, between 1924 and 1925, commissioned three ballets in one act, the first of which is The Bugs of Francis Poulenc. The title (a possible translation could be "The Beloved") announces the sensual and carefree atmosphere of the work. Yes Parade of Satie vaguely followed a concrete plot, The Bugs he makes even less use of a plot and portrays an evening organized by a rich matron to whom young men and women, dressed in summer clothes, dance and flirt with each other. The music composed by Poulenc is a kind of cake of three specific styles: the suite of eighteenth-century dances (Couperin), nineteenth-century French classical ballet, and the ballrooms of the time. A music that seems to mix and transfigure with the same promiscuity as the young people at the party.
When Poulenc premiered Les Biches he was 24 years old, the same age at which Thomas Adès and the librettist Philip Hensher were commissioned by the Almeida Opera in London to compose Powder Her Face. ‘At the Almeida Opera they didn't disguise their bewilderment at what we were proposing,' Hensher said in an interview in The Guardian. And it is not unreasonable to imagine that when Adès and Hensher explained their idea of making a play based on ‘scenes from the life of a medieval saint, only with shopping expeditions instead of miracles', everyone was surprised to say the least. Powder Her Face, a chamber opera premiered in 1995, is based on the divorce of Margaret Campbell, Duchess of Argyll, who in 1963 was accused by her husband of infidelity, turning the whole divorce into a resounding sex scandal that reverberated throughout England at the time. Later, Campbell squandered all his inheritance and ended up living in a hotel suite, at which point Adès' opera is set, evoking scenes from his past life. The version presented in this concert is Suite No. 3.