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Spirit world

April 19, 2020
11 a.m.
Kölner Philharmonie Tickets

Paul Dukas

»The Sorcerer's Apprentice« (1897)

Camille Saint-Saëns

Violin concerto no. 3 B minor (1880)

Peter Iljitsch Tschaikowsky

Symphony no. 6 B minor »Pathétique« (1893)

  • Emmanuel TjeknavorianViolin
  • Gürzenich-Orchester Köln
  • Lionel BringuierConductor

“Gone’s for once the old magician! All his ghosts must do my bidding.” Defiantly, the inexperienced sorcerer’s apprentice in Goethe’s famous ballad casts a spell on his broom, ascribes it two legs and a head, so that it will fetch pails of bathwater for his master. But the spirits that he conjured up do not obey – neither in the ballad nor in Paul Dukas’s brilliant orchestral score. That one’s own thoughts can have inconceivably great power was something Peter Tchaikovsky was also acutely aware of. He added “the spirits I called” to his last symphony, a reference to his homosexuality, which throughout his life he never acted upon. There is no redemption at the end of his symphony, however, but rather deepest mourning. A musical premonition of his own death only a few days after the premiere? Conductor Lionel Bringuier will return to conduct the Gürzenich Orchestra, embarking on a searching investigation with the “Pathétique”, while Emmanuel Tjeknavorian will cause his violin to smoulder in Camille Saint-Saëns’s 3rd Violin Concerto.

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