Symphony concert 7

Feb. 18, 2018
Kölner Philharmonie

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Claude Debussy

»Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune« (1891–94)

Esa-Pekka Salonen

»Pentatonic Étude« for Viola Solo (2008/14)

Béla Bartók

Concerto for Viola and Orchestra (1945)

Richard Wagner

»Prelude« and »Isolde’s Love Death« from »Tristan und Isolde« (1857–59)

György Ligeti

»Atmosphères« (1961)

Maurice Ravel

»Daphnis et Chloé« 2nd Orchestral Suite (1913)

»Are these billowing waves the softness of air? Are these the fragrant vapours of pleasure?« Isolde’s words also come to mind with the lascivious sounds with which Claude Debussy commences his prelude to the »afternoon of a faun«. Like clouds of heavy perfume, the atmosphere of dream and desire, of regret and lust in the Arcadian realm begins to spread with the flute solo, thus setting the mood for Nicholas Collon’s first subscription concert; Collon is the Gürzenich Orchestra’s new First Guest Director. Besides the faun and nymphs from Debussy’s Prélude, two more famous couples from world literature appear: Daphnis and Chloé, and Tristan and Isolde. What they have in common is that the power of their love pushes boundaries—and that has also pushed music into new dimensions. Be it Ravel in the impressionist colour mixtures of his »choreographic symphony« or Wagner with his unresolved Tristan chord. Longing even plays into Bartók’s Viola Concerto in the form of a folk song, »For there is no med'cine for Love, neither meat, nor drink, nor any Charm ...« Nils Mönkemeyer will reach for the viola at this concert, while György Ligeti, as always, reaches for the stars.

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