Sunday, 28.4.2024
5.00 pm

classical meets folk music


Swiss Orchestra
Lena-Lisa Wüstendörfer, conductor
Noldi Alder, dulcimer, violin, vocals
Sherniyaz Mussakhan, violin
Maria Gehrig, violin
Dominik Flückiger, schwyzerörgeli accordion

Popular classical music by Vivaldi and Jenkins meets the schwyzerörgeli accordion and the dulcimer. Sit back and enjoy the Swiss Orchestra and the folk music rebel Noldi Alder together with Sherniyaz Mussakhan and Maria Gehrig (violins), plus Dominik Flückiger on the schwyzerörgeli.

Prices: CHF 85 / 70 / 45 / 35


Karl Jenkins (*1944):

Noldi Alder (*1953):
6 Pieces for Dulcimer, Violin and String Orchestra

Maria Gehrig (*1988) and Dominik Flückiger (*1996):
3 Pieces for Violin / Schwyzerörgeli / Dulcimer and String Orchestra

Antonio Vivaldi (1678–1741):
“The Four Seasons” op. 8, No. 2 “Summer”

About the programme

“All music is folk music. I ain’t never heard a horse sing a song”. This saying is attributed to the American jazz trumpeter Louis Armstrong, but it more likely comes from his compatriot, the singer/guitarist Bob Shane. Either way: it’s emblematic of the different approach to music reception that distinguishes America from the German-speaking countries. For a long time, people here in Central Europe were anxious to make a strict distinction between “serious” music – thus “art music” – and popular music that “entertains”. This implicitly incorporates an evaluation of what constitutes “high art” and what’s “trivial”. Quite apart from the act of aesthetic condemnation that it involves, this distinction continues to have monetary consequences for some musicians to this day, for the performing rights societies still “pigeonhole” them and measure their remuneration according to different standards.

The Swiss Orchestra’s concert “Classical meets Folk Music” makes evident just how outdated this division is today between so-called serious and popular music – and in fact how absurd it has always been. The first work of the evening is by Karl Jenkins, who became especially well-known for his pop project “Adiemus”. Between 1993 and 1995, he composed a concerto grosso entitled “Palladio”, whose first theme he had originally conceived for a De Beers TV commercial for diamonds. This three-movement work for string orchestra is modelled on the harmonic proportions of Andrea Palladio’s Renaissance architecture. Jenkins draws on the Baroque origins of the concerto grosso to create an effective dramaturgy. Antonio Vivaldi was also a master of this genre, as we can hear to impressive effect in “Summer” from his “Four Seasons”: the tense, dragging chords at its opening depict the agonising heat of summer before the power of Nature is unleashed in the shape of a thunderstorm. The soloists Noldi Alder (dulcimer, violin and vocals), Maria Gehrig (violin) and Dominik Flückiger (schwyzerörgeli accordion) reveal the wonderful way in which Swiss folk-music instruments can be combined with the “classical” sounds of a string orchestra. In their own compositions, the boundaries between “serious” and “popular” become blurred, and one thing also becomes obvious: music has to be free if it is going to surprise us.


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