Sunday, 17.11.2024
5.00 pm

Divine Swiss Classics


Teo Gheorghiu, piano
Swiss Orchestra
Lena-Lisa Wüstendörfer, conductor

The Swiss composer Helena Winkelman and her compatriot Friedrich Theodor Fröhlich come together with two composers of the Viennese Classical era: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Ludwig van Beethoven. The pianist Teo Gheorghiu is accompanied by the Swiss Orchestra.

Prices: CHF 135 / 105 / 85 / 60 / 45


Friedrich Theodor Fröhlich:
Overture to Dyhrn’s Konradin

Ludwig van Beethoven:
Concerto for piano No. 3 in c minor, op. 37

Helena Winkelman:
Tree Talk for 2 cellos and string orchestra

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart:
Jupiter Symphony No. 41 in C major, K. 551

About the programme

There’s no doubt about it: music is made up of notes. And the most common of all notes, arguably the most banal, is at the heart of this concert programme: C, the central key on every keyboard and the natural limit of our tonal scale (C2–c5). C major is often perceived as being the key of serenity, clarity, lightness and universality, and we associate it with joy, happiness and optimism. It’s hardly surprising that Mozart’s most popular, best-known symphony in C major was subsequently nicknamed the “Jupiter” on account of its majestic aura and the splendour of its music, but also because this symphony was his ultimate work in the genre. Music historians have long declared it to be the crowning finale of Mozart’s series of symphonies, and attribute it with divine perfection. And this work is truly radiant and flooded with light.

Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 also ends in a serene C major, though the predominant key of this work is actually c minor, which we often associate with serious, sombre moods. This lends the music an atmosphere of grief, pensiveness and dramatic intensity that nevertheless radiates power and strength. Beethoven’s choice of this key – which stands in such obvious contrast to the radiance of C major – might well have been influenced by Mozart, whose Piano Concerto K. 491, which Beethoven greatly admired, is also in c minor.

Helena Winkelman feels inspired by the idea that trees can communicate with each other. So in Tree Talk, she has created a work that endeavours to capture in music the relationship between trees and the Nature that surrounds them. Just as a tree is exposed to the passing of the seasons, Winkelman’s piece plays with overtones to demonstrate shifts in tone colours and movement. The solo cellos play their open strings and fan out into their harmonic space, as it were: We cannot determine any basic key, just the constant shifting of the sound. In contrast, the Overture to Konrad Adolf Dyhrn’s tragedy Konradin by the composer Friedrich Theodor Fröhlich once more focuses on c minor. When heard in combination with the other works on the programme here, the diversity and expressiveness of this music become all the clearer. Starting off with the basic note of C, musical spaces unfold that are able to trigger all manner of emotions, from melancholy sadness to radiant happiness.


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