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Varnish

April 19, 2021
8 p.m.
Kölner Philharmonie

Bohuslav Martinů

Suite concertante in D-major (second version) for Violin and Orchestra (1944)

Béla Bartók

Rhapsody No. 1 for Violin and Orchestra (1929)

Peter Tschaikowsky

»Hymn of the Cherubim« from: »Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom« for choir a cappella (1878)

Béla Bartók

»The Miraculous Mandarin« (1924)

Slamming doors and a ban on further performances after the premiere: only rarely did the Cologne Opera witness such tumultuous scenes as in 1926, during the world premiere of Béla Bartók's ballet The Miraculous Mandarin. Celebrated today as a masterwork of modernism, at the time the audience and authorities took umbrage at the murderous tale set in the red-light milieu. In his score, Bartók also portrayed the dark sides of the supposedly »Golden« 1920s. His Rhapsody No. 1, written only a few years later, strikes a completely different note: here, the composer unmistakably pays homage to his Hungarian roots - as Bohuslav Martinů referred to the sounds and idiom of his Bohemian homeland in his American exile, where he wrote the Suite concertante. Rarely performed, both works have long been part of the repertoire of Frank Peter Zimmermann, the most renowned German violinist of his generation. Nicholas Collon conducts the Gürzenich Orchestra.

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