Photo illustrating page  Czech Philharmonic Hilary Hahn

Czech Philharmonic

Hilary Hahn

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Czech Philharmonic
Programme

Leoš Janáček
Suite for String Orchestra

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Violin Concerto No. 5 in A Major KV 219

Antonín Dvořák
Czech Suite, Op. 39

Performers

Hilary Hahn
violin

Jiří Bělohlávek
conductor

Czech Philharmonic

Photo illustrating the event Czech Philharmonic Hilary Hahn
Barceló Formentor — Auditorium
1 Sep 2016  Thursday — 8.30pm
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Performers

Hilary Hahn  violin

Jiří Bělohlávek  conductor
Jiří Bělohlávek

Chief Conductor and Artistic Director, Czech Philharmonic
Principal Guest Conductor, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor Laureate, BBC Symphony (London)

Renowned Czech conductor Jiří Bělohlávek was appointed Music Director and Artistic Director of the Czech Philharmonic in 2012, following on from his successful tenure as Chief Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, of which he is now a Conductor Laureate. He was Chief Conductor of the Prague Symphony Orchestra (1977–89), Music Director of the Prague Philharmonia (1994–2004), was appointed President of the Prague Spring Festival in 2006. From 2013 to 2017, he was Principal Guest Conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra.

In opera, he has collaborated with the Vienna State Opera, Royal Opera, Covent Garden, New York’s Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Opéra National de Paris, the Teatro Real Madrid, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Zurich Opera, and the National Theatre in Prague. He has also conducted and recorded several opera-in-concert presentations with the BBC Symphony, to great acclaim. Confirming his preeminence as the conductor of Janacek, this past season he conducted the Czech Phil in a concert presentation of Jenůfa at the London Royal Festival Hall, as well as in full production the San Francisco Opera. This was followed by a performance of Janacek The Makropulos Case with the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the BBC Proms.

Under his leadership the Czech Philharmonic is enjoying unprecedented success both at home in Prague, and on extensive tours. Together they have toured in the past three seasons on three continents, including Europe, Asia and North America.  Their recent residency in Vienna at the Musikverein was a great success, and has lead to similar events being planned in other world capitals. The Czech Philharmonic announced in January 2017 that their partnership with Maestro Bělohlávek is now officially extended to 2022!

In addition to his ongoing Prague seasons and touring engagements with the Czech, he continues to perform as a guest conductor with the world’s major orchestras, including recent appearances with the BBC Symphony Orchestra (including at the London Proms), New York Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony, Washington National Symphony, and Deutsches Symphony Berlin, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and Vienna Symphony Orchestra. In the coming season, in addition to major projects with Czech Phil, he looks forward to engagements with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, Bayerische Rundfunk Orchestra Munich, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, St Petersburg Philharmonic, and more.

With the Czech Philharmonic, he will conduct a major Asian tour in Autumn 2017 with concerts in Japan, Korea and Taiwan, in addition to appearances on tour in Europe, the highlight of which will be a performance of Janáček Glagolitic Mass at the Salzburg Festival in August 2018.

Jiří Bělohlávek has recorded extensively, with recent projects with the Czech Philharmonic including the complete symphonies and concertos of Dvořák. The series with Decca continues in the coming season, when a major disc of Suk will be recorded.

In 2012 he was awarded an honorary CBE for his services to British music.

Compositions

Antonín Dvořák — Česká suita op. 39

Leoš Janáček — Suita pro smyčcový orchestr

Janáček’s Suite for Strings (sometimes called Suite for String Orchestra) got a review soon after its presentation at the Beseda brněnská (Brno Beseda Society). Berthold Žalud, an important musical critic, in Moravská orlice daily newspaper (6 December 1877) commented on its pathos and emphasized that Janáček was “our artist, grown up from our midst”, “an artist so young and a composition so great”. He considered him to be “our” own because Janáček was born in Hukvaldy in North Moravia and got his education from Brno schools; his studies in Prague and at conservatories in Leipzig and Vienna were rather short. In 1876, Janáček became choirmaster of the Brno Beseda Society, to which he quickly added an orchestra appropriate for accompanying larger choral works. He composed his Suite in the autumn of 1877 and conducted its premiere at a Beseda concert. While the premiere won high praise and the reviewer Berthold Žalud found Romantic content in the composition, with the passage of time the Suite was viewed more as a beginner’s work influenced by Wagner, Skuherský, Dvořák and Smetana, and apparently Janáček himself did not value it very much.

The Suite for Strings is Janáček’s oldest preserved orchestral composition and as such it is far from his typical musical expression of his late period, but that does not mean that it has not its own qualities. It consists of six movements originally entitled Prélude, Allemande, Sarabanda, Scherzo, Air and Finale. Since these titles were from a different era, the era of the Baroque dance suites, when the work was published for the first time in 1926, Janáček indicated only their tempo markings. The six movements form a compact whole, in which the song form prevails, only the final movement is in sonata form. The popularity of the suite for chamber orchestra as a genre is documented in the 1870s by Antonín Dvořák’s Czech Suite, Op. 39, composed in 1879, which is occasionally coupled with Janáček’s Suite for Strings on the same label or concert program. Janáček’s emotional warmth and melodic line are able to withstand this competition.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart — Houslový koncert č. 5 A dur KV 219

Koncert pro housle a orchestr č. 5 A dur KV 219 (tzv. Turecký) Wolfganga Amadea Mozarta z roku 1775 patří ke klenotům Mozartovy koncertantní tvorby a k nejvyhledávanějším skladbám dnešní houslové literatury. Je to dílo bohaté hudební invence, které dává sólistovi mnoho možností osobitého pojetí, a to nejen v závěrečných kadencích.

První věta koncertu začíná orchestrálním úvodem s tempovým označením Allegro aperto. Spojení těchto dvou výrazů není v hudbě běžné (Mozart ho použil ještě v Klavírním koncertu KV 238 a v některých operních áriích). Aperto znamená italsky otevřený. Znalci se rozcházejí v názoru, co přesně chtěl Mozart tímto přívlastkem vyjádřit. Měla jím být naznačena otevřenost v melodických nápadech, které z přemíry invence překvapivě uvádí a zase opouští, anebo snad otevřenost závěru první věty?

Po orchestrálním úvodu nastupují sólové housle v netypicky krátkém, ale výrazném Adagiu, nápadně proměňujícím charakter hudby. Po něm pak přichází v tutti energické hlavní téma, které vystřídá skromnější a grotesknější téma vedlejší. V provedení Mozart srší bohatými nápady.

Druhá věta, Adagio, přináší po jiskřivé až extatické náladě první věty vydechnutí, uvolnění a nadhled. Jako by ji komponoval jiný člověk. Pracuje s lyrickým, klidným až kontemplativním tématem, vyznívajícím v sólových pasážích nebývalé krásy.

Poslední věta, Rondo, je založena na menuetovém tématu. Ve střední části se však mění rytmus z trojdobého menuetového pohybu na dvojdobý pochod, podle něhož bývá koncert označován jako Turecký. Stejný princip je použit například i v Mozartově Klavírní sonátě A dur, jejíž 3. věta je známá jako Turecký pochod. K posílení efektu alla turca využívá skladatel i col legno ve violoncellech a basách (hráči udeří na struny hůlkou smyčce místo žíněmi). Tyto prvky tak zvané „turecké“ hudby, byly v Mozartově době oblíbené i v opeře. Třetí věta nabízí mnoho způsobů uchopení rondového tématu. Sólista je může představit od bravurně virtuózního pojetí až po zdůraznění lyrické složky. Nechme se překvapit, jaké pojetí zvolí dnes vystupující umělec.