One of the world’s leading ensembles performs two compositions written by the Polish musician nearly a century ago. The LSO begins its tournee with a concert at London’s Barbican Hall, travelling on to the Parisian Salle Pleyel, the Bozar centre in Belgium and crowing the series with a return to the

Peter Eötvös, photo: © Jean-Francois Leclercq,
[email protected] Felvégi

British capital for a final perfomace once again hosted by the Barbican Hall.

The two compositions written by Szymanowski are his Violin Concert No 1 and the Symphony No 3 "Song of the night". In the Song of the Night, the sounds of the orchestra, the solo tenor and the choir subtly blend in a continuous web of intoxicating sound. The Symphony is a ravishing setting of a poem written by the great medieval Persian mystic known as Mevlânâ, our Master, Jalāl ad-Dīn. The poetry evokes the mysteries and beauty of a starlit Persian night. Szymanowski began drafting his Symphony No. 3 in the summer and autumn of 1914, and he dedicated the piece to his mother, Anna Szymanowska. He continued working on it in the spring and summer of 1916. The Symphony employs a Polish translation of the Persian song as interpreted by Tadeusz Miciński, one of the composer’s favorite poets.

Coupling the Song of the Night is Szymanowski’s Violin Concerto No 1. Cast in a single 25-minute span, it is also no ordinary composition. Rather than follow any familiar structural pattern, it weaves a fantasy-like web of associated themes in a way which defies any conventional analysis. A poem by the previously mentioned Tadeusz Micinski, who was almost a contemporary to Szymanowski, may well have had a strong influence on the composer as he wrote this piece. The poem in question is entitled "May Night", a fantastic evocation of faeries, ephemerae and nereids, with ‘Pan playing his pipes in the oak wood’. It opens with the following lines, ‘Donkeys in crowns settle on the grass / Fireflies kiss the wild rose / While death flickers over the pond And plays a wanton song’.

Violinist Christian Tetzlaff joins the LSO as soloist for Szymanowski’s Concerto, which he recorded in 2011 for Deutsche Grammophon to a great acclaim. Tetzlaff is a musician equally talented in the classical and romantic repertoire as in he is contemporary music. His recordings have received numerous prizes and awards, including the Diapason d’Or, Edison, Midem Classical Award and the ECHO Klassik prize, together with several nominations for the Grammy Awards.

Due to a medical condition, Pierre Boulez has had to withdraw from his May concerts with the LSO. A long-time associate of Mr.Boulez, Peter Eötvös agreed to step in and conduct the two programmes, which remain unchanged.

Peter Eötvös is a composer, conductor and teacher. Regarded as one of the leading interpreters of contemporary music, Eötvös has pursued notably long-term relationships with a number of significant orchestras and institutions. Has has cooperated with the Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Ensemble intercontemporain and Ensemble Modern.

The London Symphony Orchestra is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading ensembles. Since its founding in 1904, it has always attracted excellent musicians from all over the world, many of whom pursue flourishing solo, chamber music and teaching careers alongside their orchestral work. The enviable roster of soloists and conductors to have worked with the LSO include its Principal Conductor Valery Gergiev, the LSO President Sir Colin Davis, as well as Principal Guest Conductors Daniel Harding and Michael Tilson Thomas.

Apart from the pieces by Szymanowski, the programme of LSO’s tour also encompasses compositions from Alexander Scriabin and Claude Debussy.

Concert Schedule:

29th of April, 2012, 7:30 pm; Barbican Hall, London
DEBUSSY Three Nocturnes
SZYMANOWSKI Violin Concerto No 1
SCRIABIN Symphony No 4 (‘Poem of Ecstasy’)

Peter Eötvös conductor
Christian Tetzlaff violin
Ladies of the London Symphony Chorus
London Symphony Orchestra

1st of May, 2012, 8:00 pm; Salle Pleyel, Paris
DEBUSSY Three Nocturnes
SZYMANOWSKI Violin Concerto No 1
SCRIABIN Symphony No 4 (‘Poem of Ecstasy’)
Peter Eötvös conductor
Christian Tetzlaff violin
Ladies of the London Symphony Chorus
London Symphony Orchestra

2nd of May, 2012, 8:00 pm; Salle Pleyel, Paris
BARTÓK Music for Strings, Percussion and Celeste
BARTÓK Violin Concerto No 2
SZYMANOWSKI Symphony No 3 (‘Song of the Night’)
Peter Eötvös conductor
Nikolaj Znaider violin
Steve Davislim tenor
London Symphony Chorus
London Symphony Orchestra

3rd of May, 2012, 8:00 pm; Bozar, Brussels
BARTÓK Music for Strings, Percussion and Celeste
BARTÓK Violin Concerto No 2
SZYMANOWSKI Symphony No 3 (‘Song of the Night’)
Peter Eötvös conductor
Nikolaj Znaider violin
Steve Davislim tenor
London Symphony Chorus
London Symphony Orchestra

8th of May, 2012, 7:30 pm; Barbican Hall, London
BARTÓK Music for Strings, Percussion and Celeste
BARTÓK Violin Concerto No 2
SZYMANOWSKI Symphony No 3 (‘Song of the Night’)
Peter Eötvös conductor
Nikolaj Znaider violin
Steve Davislim tenor
London Symphony Chorus
London Symphony Orchestra

The tour of the London Symphony Orchestra benefits from the support of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute as part of the Polska Music endevour (polskamusic.pl). Further perfomances by the London Symphony Orchestra supported by Polska Music programme are scheduled to take place in the later half of 2012, with Valery Giergiyev conducting the ensemble. The Orchestra is to perform all of the four symphonies and two violin concertos written by Szymanowski.

For more information on the the London Symphony Orchestra, see: lso.co.uk

Editor: SRS

Source: www.barbican.org.uk, www.bozar.be, www.sallepleyel.fr, www.lso.co.uk