Saturday, 28.9.2024
7.30 pm

Season Opening

Symphony Concert

Olga Scheps, piano
Swiss Orchestra
Lena-Lisa Wüstendörfer, conductor

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

Programme

Giuseppe Verdi:
Overture to La forza del destino

Sergei Rachmaninov:
Piano Concerto No. 2 in c minor, op. 18

Hans Huber:
Symphony No. 1 in d minor, op. 63 (Tell Symphony)

About the programme

“The power of fate” – “La forza del destino” hammers against the door in the first six beats of Giuseppe Verdi’s opera of this name. Three times in succession, we hear a threatening “E” in the brass and low bassoon that is repeated with the same weight of meaning after a short intake of breath. The strings then burst into the musical space with a dramatic, urgent motif that is once more interrupted by fateful notes in the brass, but is then transformed into melancholy, yearning melodies foreshadowing the topic of the opera: Love, injustice, misfortune, escape, vengeance and death. At its premiere in St. Petersburg in 1862, La forza del destino was a complete success for its composer. But it was performed there without its succinct overture, which Verdi only composed for a new version of the opera a few years later. Since it was given its premiere at La Scala in Milan in 1869, the full drama of this opera is revealed in the very first measures of its overture.

It was less the power of fate than the power of hypnosis that helped Sergei Rachmaninov to compose his Second Piano Concerto. After the failure of his First Symphony with audiences and critics alike in 1897, this sensitive composer was barely able to commit a single note to paper for almost three years. Salvation lay in the hypnotic abilities of a Moscow psychotherapist, whose sessions Rachmaninov later recalled as running thus: “‘You will write your concerto … You’ll work with great ease … This concerto will be of excellent quality …’. He always spoke the same words without interruption”. Lo and behold: Rachmaninov completed his 2nd Piano Concerto in 1901 and it is a quite outstanding work. He dedicated it to his doctor, without whom – so goes the legend – this music would probably never have been written.

A love for his Swiss homeland seems to have been a major driving force in the life of the composer and music pedagogue Hans Huber. He lived in Basel for many years, and he helped to make the city a major music centre through his work at its music school and with its choral society, and by co-founding the Swiss Musicians’ Association and the Basel Conservatory. Huber was also active as a composer throughout his busy life, and created a testament to his patriotism in his Tell Symphony of 1880, which offers a prototypical image in sound of his native land.

On the occasion of our season’s opening concert, ANDERMATT MUSIC is delighted to offer you an apéritif in the interval.

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