Symphony concert 4

Dec. 16, 2018
Kölner Philharmonie

Hèctor Parra

»Inscape« (2017) German premiere

Robert Schumann

Concerto for violoncello and orchestra a minor op. 129 (1850)

Symphonie No. 4 d minor op. 120 (1841)

Robert Schumann was not healthy. He had contracted syphilis, the disease of the epoch, in Leipzig (presumably from a waitress); at the end of his short life it took away his sanity. Perhaps Schumann suspected this, as his art was ambiguous: infused by romantic scary stories and mysterious figures, fantastic in form, fragile, always novel. The cello concerto, which he composed in Düsseldorf, his last place of work, is to be played without breaks between movements – as is the Fourth Symphony, which Schumann planned as a »symphonistic fantasy«, and which presents a radically new solution of the symphony as an idea. With this he left the safe space of classical forms and spheres of expression behind him, moving beyond known territory. The Catalan composer Hèctor Parra strives for this as well in his new work, a commission from the Gürzenich Orchestra; the piece sets out to search for black holes and acoustic puzzles. An endless convergence between Schumann and the present.

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