Saturday, 2.7.2022
7.30 pm

surprise: swiss symphonic music


Swiss Orchestra
Lena-Lisa Wüstendörfer, conductor
Christoph Pfändler, dulcimer

This third concert of the Swiss Orchestra’s season features a rarely performed popular classic, a Swiss work that made it onto the Titanic, cross-pollination between Russia and Switzerland, and a dulcimer gone astray.

Prices: CHF 135 / 105 / 85 / 60


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791)
Eine kleine Nachtmusik, Serenade No. 13 for strings, in G major, K. 525

Paul Huber (1918–2001)
Concerto for dulcimer and string orchestra

Joachim Raff (1822–1882)
Cavatina from Six Morceaux, op. 85 No. 3, arranged for solo violin and strings

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840–1893) and Paul Juon (1872–1940)
Highlights from the Serenade for strings in C major, op. 48 and 5 Pieces for string orchestra, op. 16.

The concert on 2 July 2022 will be recorded by Radio SRF 2 Kultur and broadcast on 31 July 2022 at 4 pm in the radio programme “Im Konzertsaal”.

About the programme

A popular hit that’s rarely performed, a Swiss piece that made it onto the Titanic, a link between Russia and Switzerland and a dulcimer led astray. That’s one way of summing up the works in this third concert of the Swiss Orchestra’s season. But let’s take things one step at a time. Our concert begins with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Kleine Nachtmusik – his Little Night Music – whose first movement is surely known to everyone, and could quite easily serve as a generic calling card for all classical music. Despite its fame, this serenade for strings is actually rarely heard in the concert hall. The Swiss Orchestra will here let it shine forth in all its glory.

Paul Huber’s Concerto for dulcimer and string orchestra takes up an instrument that is well-loved in Swiss folk music, and brings it into the classical concert hall. The result is a fascinating combination of traditional classical music and popular music – such as in the moment when the sweet-sounding dulcimer strikes up a ländler dance in the midst of a late-Romantic orchestral passage. The soloist is the dulcimer virtuoso Christoph Pfändler, who negotiates his path between these different worlds with stylistic aplomb.

After the interval, the Cavatina by the Swiss composer Joachim Raff will lead our audience into the Romantic sound-world of the 19th century. This is the best-known work by this Swiss composer, whose 200th birthday we are commemorating this year. It was originally conceived as one of his Six Morceaux for violin and piano, but became so popular that it was arranged for the concert hall and was even played on the fateful maiden voyage of the RMS Titanic in 1912.

The concert closes with excerpts from Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for strings, whose movements here alternate with those of Paul Juon’s 5 Pieces for string orchestra. This unusual interweaving brings together a Russian citizen with personal connections to Switzerland, and a Moscow-born Swiss with roots in the canton of Graubünden. It offers a perfect example of the Swiss Orchestra’s guiding principle – combining little-known Swiss compositions with classics of the repertoire.


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