Sunday, 22.5.2022
5.00 pm

focus on swiss symphonic music


Swiss Orchestra
Lena-Lisa Wüstendörfer, conductor
Heinz Holliger, oboe
Alice Belugou, harp
Fränggi & Maria Gehrig (special guests)

An exclusive summit meeting: A masterpiece by Brahms meets the Swiss symphonic composers Johann Carl Eschmann and Frank Martin.

Prices: CHF 125 / 90 / 60


Johann Carl Eschmann (1826–1882)
Grand Concert Overture

Frank Martin (1890–1974)
Trois Danses for oboe, harp, string quintet and string orchestra
I Seguiriya
II Soledad
III Rumba

Johannes Brahms (1833–1897)
Symphony No. 3, op. 90
I Allegro con brio
II Andante
III Poco Allegretto
IV Allegro

About the programme

In 1970, the French-Swiss composer Frank Martin – then aged 80 – wrote his Trois Danses for oboe, harp, string quintet and string orchestra. He dedicated this work to Ursula and Heinz Holliger, who had commissioned it and who also gave its first performance. Now, just over 50 years later, the harpist Alice Belugou and the Swiss Orchestra under the baton of Lena-Lisa Wüstendörfer are performing these three dances in Andermatt. And once again, the oboe part will be played by Heinz Holliger – one of the most brilliant, versatile, best-known figures on the Swiss music scene.

These Three dances are highly rhythmic in character and offer the oboe ample scope for a bravura performance. Martin explores the multifarious sonic possibilities of the oboe and unfurls an exciting dialogue between the different instrumental groups.

In contrast to Frank Martin, the second Swiss composer featured in this concert, Johann Carl Eschmann, is an absolute discovery. His early “Grand Concert Overture” was written in 1847 and is his only surviving orchestral work. He was born in Winterthur, studied with Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Ignaz Moscheles and others in Leipzig, and his friends and supporters included Johannes Brahms and Richard Wagner. The latter was clearly even influenced by specific passages from Eschmann’s works while working on his Rheingold and Walküre. Despite finding favour with such famous men, Eschmann was soon forgotten – but is now finally receiving the attention that he deserves.

The second half of this concert is devoted to the 3rd Symphony by Johannes Brahms, composed in 1883, which needs no act of rediscovery. Clara Schumann aptly summed it up in a letter to Brahms himself: “Every movement is a jewel! – one is captivated from beginning to end by its mysterious magic …”


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