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Night Sky

April 3, 2022
11 a.m.
Cologne Philharmonie

Friedrich Cerha

Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra (2007/08)

Peter I. Tschaikowsky

Symphony No. 6 b Minor op. 74 »Pathétique« (1893)

After the first performance of his Symphony No. 6, Piotr Tchaikovsky confessed that he had put his entire soul into the work. It contained a programme, »subjective through and through«, but this was to remain a secret, as he wrote to his nephew Vladimir. He also dedicated the symphony, so full of melancholy, longing and sadness, to this nephew – thereby revealing its secret himself shortly before his tragic death.

 

»There are passages so difficult in here that they almost make my head explode!« If a superstar percussionist such as Martin Grubinger says so, we had better believe him. Friedrich Cerha, who not only completed Alban Berg’s »Lulu«, but is also the creator of an oeuvre that is sophisticated in its construction, yet remains incredibly sensuous, has written a Percussion Concerto for Martin Grubinger at the age of over 80 – without ever having heard him play. Yet the composition seems tailored to Grubinger: a spectacular tour de force in which not only the soloist shines, but the orchestra’s percussionists also have a prominent part to play. To Cerha himself, the slow movement of this bravura work is the focal point, and he revealed that the slow movement of the stars in the night sky inspired him to write it.

Following her sensational debut with the Gürzenich Orchestra in 2019, this concert brings a new encounter with conductor Elim Chan.

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