Emilsson on Dvořák
“My new symphony,” Dvořák wrote to a friend in 1884, “must be such as to make a stir in the world.” TPO’s Honorary Founding Chief Conductor is in his element as he explores the agitation that Dvořák’s sought to make in the world. Joining TPO is Estonian-born bassoon virtuoso Martin Kuuskmann performing Theofanidis’ Bassoon Concerto, which was written for him.
- 1 June 2018 / 7.00 p.m. / PMH (Pre-Concert Talk 6.15 p.m.)
- 2 June 2018 / 4.00 p.m. / PMH (Pre-Concert Talk 3.15 p.m.)
Conductor: Gudni A. Emilsson
Soloist: Martin Kuuskmann, Bassoon
- Thai Traditional Music
- Georges Bizet: Carmen Suite No. 1
- Christopher Theofanidis: Bassoon Concerto
- Antonín Dvořák: Symphony No. 7, Op. 70
TPO’s Honorary Founding Chief Conductor, Gudni A. Emilsson returns to lead the orchestra in one of the great symphonies of the 19th century – Antonín Dvorák’s Seventh. Balancing the program is Bizet’s dazzling music from his unique masterpiece Carmen and Martin Kuuskmann plays Christopher Theofanidis’ Bassoon Concerto, a work composed especially for the Estonian bassoon virtuoso.
Bizet’s gifts for melodic economy and spontaneity were never on better display than in Carmen, the powerful opera for which he is remembered today. Suite No. 1 offers a five-course sampler of Bizet’s skill for creating lasting melodies of graceful inventiveness that somehow sound as they have been with us always.
Theofanidis’ three-movement Bassoon Concerto is both introspective and outgoing. It uses materials from complex sources such as the Greek Orthodox church and Balkan folk dance in ways which are accessible and memorable. The dedicatee of the concerto and TPO guest soloist, Martin Kuuskmann is one of the most charismatic wind players of his generation, a nuanced performer with a stage presence that has won him a dedicated international following.
Johannes Brahms served as Dvorák’s mentor, encouraging and inspiring the Czech nationalist composer to develop his extraordinary musical talents. Though Dvorák wrote his Symphony in D Minor as a commission from London, it was hearing Brahms’ Third Symphony (which TPO will play next week) that motivated Dvorák to complete arguably his finest piece. Tragic but ultimately hopeful and optimistic, the symphony is also harmonically rich and emotionally openhearted – qualities that Brahms must have appreciated in his protégé.
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