Symphony concert 3

Nov. 11, 2018
12:15 p.m.
Kölner Philharmonie

Peter Tschaikowsky

Serenade C major op. 48 for string orchestra (1880)

Reinhold Glière

Concerto for harp and orchestra op. 74 (1938)

Alexander Skrjabin

»Poème de l'extase« op. 54 for grand orchestra (1905-07)

Good music was not enough for him: Alexander Scriabin wanted to set people free and redeem mankind with his music. Scriabin’s ecstatic »tone poem« leads the romantic symphony orchestra to new frontiers, causing the whole universe to resonate. »And thus the universe resounds / With a joyful cry / I am!« are the final lines of the poem on which the piece is based. At this concert, a sung ending will be performed for the first time in Cologne with the voices of the WDR Rundfunkchor, a culmination that will crown Scriabin’s audacious flight of the soul with an orgiastic end. At the same time, the programme traces the connections between Russian and European music culture. Peter Tchaikovsky, for instance, was considered a »Westerner« in his day and was treated with hostility by Russian patriots. His Serenade for Stringsis suffused in Italian passion and German melodiousness – and yet is unmistakeably Tchaikovsky. Despite his name, Reinhold Glière was not a Frenchman, but rather the son of a Saxon. His harp concerto looks back in late Romantic style to a bygone era – and that at a time when atonality and neoclassicism were all the rage in many places and visionaries like Scriabin had pushed the boundaries of perception of the world.

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