Photo illustrating page  Karen Gomyo Czech Philharmonic

Czech Philharmonic • Karen Gomyo


Czech Philharmonic

On 4 February 2021, when the Labèque sisters performed Bryce Dessner’s Concerto for Two Pianos on camera at the Rudolfinum, Dessner had already been commissioned a new symphonic work titled Mari. It will be performed alongside Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No. 1 played by Karen Gomyo and Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances conducted by Semyon Bychkov.

Subscription series A
Duration of the programme 2 hod

Programme

Bryce Dessner
Mari (Czech première) (20'-25')

Dmitri Shostakovich
Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Op. 77 (39')

— Intermission —

Sergei Rachmaninoff
Symphonic Dances, Op. 45 (35')

Performers

Karen Gomyo violin

Semyon Bychkov
conductor

Czech Philharmonic

Photo illustrating the event Czech Philharmonic Karen Gomyo

Rudolfinum — Dvořák Hall

15 Dec 2021  Wednesday 10.00am
Final rehearsal
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15 Dec 2021  Wednesday 7.30pm
Available seats
16 Dec 2021  Thursday 7.30pm
Available seats
17 Dec 2021  Friday 7.30pm
Available seats
Price from 290 to 1400 Kč

Customer Service of Czech Philharmonic

Tel.:  +420 227 059 227

E-mail: info@czechphilharmonic.cz

Customer Service office hours are on weekdays from 09:00 a.m. to 06:00 p.m.

Customer Service of Czech Philharmonic

Tel.:  +420 227 059 227

E-mail: info@czechphilharmonic.cz

Customer Service office hours are on weekdays from 09:00 a.m. to 06:00 p.m.

Performers

Karen Gomyo  violin

Born in Tokyo and beginning her musical career in Montréal and New York, violinist Karen Gomyo has recently made Berlin her home. A musician of the highest calibre, the Chicago Tribune praised her as: "…a first-rate artist of real musical command, vitality, brilliance and intensity".

Karen’s 2019/20 season features European debuts with Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin with Cristian Macelaru, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande with Jonathan Nott, Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern with Pietari Inkinen, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra with Gergely Madaras and Dresdner Philharmoniker with Roderick Cox.

Other recent European appearances include Philharmonia Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Symphonique de Radio France, WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln, Danish National Symphony, and in March 2019 Karen opened the Dubai Proms with the BBC Symphony and Ben Gernon. At present Karen makes her debut at the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra with Semyon Bychkov.

Already well established in North America Karen has performed with the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, and the symphony orchestras of Detroit, San Francisco, Toronto, Montréal, Vancouver, and Washington D.C. Further afield her popularity in Australasia continued over the last few seasons as she toured with New Zealand Symphony and also appeared with West Australian Symphony Orchestra in Perth, Tasmanian Symphony and in recital at the Sydney Opera House. In Asia she maked her debut with the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra.

Strongly committed to contemporary works, Karen gave the North American premiere of Matthias Pintscher’s Concerto No. 2 Mar’eh with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington under the baton of the composer, as well as Pēteris Vasks’ Vox Amoris with the Lapland Chamber Orchestra conducted by John Storgårds. In May 2018 Karen performed the world premiere of Samuel Adams’ new Chamber Concerto with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Esa-Pekka Salonen to great critical acclaim. The work was written specifically for Karen and commissioned by the CSO’s ‘Music Now’ series for their 20th anniversary.

Semyon Bychkov  conductor
Semyon Bychkov

“This was a testament not only to Mahler, but also to Mr. Bychkov and the Czech Philharmonic... this was a moving and intelligent reading of the Resurrection, dramatic in the opening and finale, sweet and playful in the inner movements, and sublime in the setting of Urlicht...”

The New York Times

Semyon Bychkov's tenure as Chief Conductor and Music Director of the Czech Philharmonic was initiated with concerts in Prague, London, New York and Washington marking the 100th anniversary of Czechoslovak independence in 2018. Since the culmination of The Tchaikovsky Project in 2019 – a 7-CD box set released by Decca Classics and a series of international residencies – Bychkov and the Czech Philharmonic have been focusing on the symphonic works of Mahler with performances and recordings scheduled both at home and abroad.

During the 2021/22 season, Mahler’s First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth and Seventh Symphonies will all be heard internationally including on tour at the Grafenegg Festival in Austria during the summer. The Czech Philharmonic’s 126th season’s subscription concerts in October will open with Mahler’s Ninth Symphony. In the spring, a Czech Festival at Vienna’s Musikverein featuring Smetana’s Má vlast – recorded by Bychkov and the Czech Philharmonic during lockdown - alongside works by Kabeláč, Dvořák, Martinů and Janáček will be followed by an extensive European tour including concerts at the Philharmonie in Berlin, Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie and two concerts at London’s Barbican Centre.

Especially recognised for his interpretations of the core repertoire, Bychkov has also worked closely with many extraordinary contemporary composers including Luciano Berio, Henri Dutilleux and Maurizio Kagel. In recent seasons he has collaborated with René Staar, Thomas Larcher, Richard Dubignon, Detlev Glanert and Julian Anderson, conducting premières of their works with the Vienna Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw and the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the BBC Proms. Highlights of the new season include the German première of Larcher’s Piano Concerto with dedicatee Kirill Gerstein in Berlin, the Czech première of Bryce Dessner’s Mari and the world première of Anderson’s Prague Panoramas, also presented in Prague. The three new works are amongst fourteen commissions initiated by Bychkov at the start of his tenure with the Czech Philharmonic.

In common with the Czech Philharmonic, Bychkov has one foot firmly in the culture of the East and the other in the West. Born in St Petersburg in 1952, Bychkov emigrated to the United States in 1975 and has lived in Europe since the mid-1980's. Singled out for an extraordinarily privileged musical education from the age of 5, Bychkov studied piano before winning his place at the Glinka Choir School where, aged 13, he received his first lesson in conducting. He was 17 when he was accepted at the Leningrad Conservatory to study with the legendary Ilya Musin and, within three years had won the influential Rachmaninov Conducting Competition. Denied the prize of conducting the Leningrad Philharmonic, Bychkov left the former Soviet Union.

By the time Bychkov returned to St Petersburg in 1989 as the Philharmonic’s Principal Guest Conductor, he had enjoyed success in the US as Music Director of the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra and the Buffalo Philharmonic. His international career, which began in France with Opéra de Lyon and at the Aix-en-Provence Festival, took off with a series of high-profile cancellations which resulted in invitations to conduct the New York Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestras. In 1989, he was named Music Director of the Orchestre de Paris; in 1997, Chief Conductor of the WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne; and the following year, Chief Conductor of the Dresden Semperoper.

Bychkov’s symphonic and operatic repertoire is wide-ranging. He conducts in all the major houses including La Scala, Opéra national de Paris, Dresden Semperoper, Wiener Staatsoper, New York’s Metropolitan Opera, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and Teatro Real. Madrid. While Principal Guest Conductor of Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, his productions of Janáček’s Jenůfa, Schubert’s Fierrabras, Puccini’s La bohème, Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk and Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov each won the prestigious Premio Abbiati. New productions in Vienna included Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier and Daphne, Wagner’s Lohengrin and Parsifal, and Mussorgsky’s Khovanshchina; while in London, he made his debut with a new production of Strauss’ Elektra, and subsequently conducted new productions of Mozart’s Così fan tutte, Strauss’ Die Frau ohne Schatten and Wagner’s Tannhäuser. Recent productions include Wagner’s Parsifal at the Bayreuth Festival and Strauss’s Elektra at the Wiener Staatsoper.

On the concert platform, the combination of innate musicality and rigorous Russian pedagogy has ensured that Bychkov’s performances are highly anticipated. In the UK, in addition to regular performances with the London Symphony Orchestra, his honorary titles at the Royal Academy of Music and the BBC Symphony Orchestra - with whom he appears annually at the BBC Proms – reflect the warmth of the relationships. In Europe, he tours frequently with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Munich Philharmonic, as well as being a frequent guest of the Vienna and Berlin Philharmonics, the Leipzig Gewandhaus, the Orchestre National de France and the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia; in the US, he can be heard with the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Los Angeles Symphony, Philadelphia and Cleveland Orchestras. This season, in addition to extensive concert commitments with the Czech Philharmonic, Bychkov's guest conducting engagements include further performances of Mahler’s symphonies with the Orchestre de Paris, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Berlin, Oslo and LA Philharmonic Orchestras, and Strauss’s Elektra at the Opéra national de Paris.

Bychkov made extensive recordings for Philips with the Berlin Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio, Royal Concertgebouw, Philharmonia, London Philharmonic and Orchestre de Paris. Later, his 13-year collaboration (1997-2010) with WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne produced a series of benchmark recordings that included works by Strauss (Elektra, Daphne, Ein Heldenleben, Metamorphosen, Alpensinfonie, Till Eulenspiegel), Mahler (Symphony No. 3, Das Lied von der Erde), Shostakovich (Symphony Nos. 4, 7, 8, 10, 11), Rachmaninov (The Bells, Symphonic Dances, Symphony No. 2), Verdi (Requiem), a complete cycle of Brahms Symphonies, and works by Detlev Glanert and York Höller. His recording of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin was recommended by BBC’s Radio 3’s Building a Library (2020); Wagner’s Lohengrin was BBC Music Magazine’s Record of the Year (2010); and Schmidt’s Symphony No. 2 with the Vienna

Philharmonic was BBC Music Magazine’s Record of the Month (2018).

In 2015, Semyon Bychkov was named Conductor of the Year by the International Opera Awards.

Compositions

Dmitri Shostakovich
Violin Concerto No. 1 in A Minor, Op. 77

Dmitrij Šostakovič měl v řadách soudobých sovětských interpretů mnoho přátel, se kterými také těsně spolupracoval při uvádění svých děl. Patřil k nim např. dirigent Kirill Kondrašin, jenž premiéroval slavnou Čtvrtou symfonii c moll, violoncellista Mstislav Rostropovič pro nějž Šostakovič napsal dvojici koncertů pro violoncello a orchestr nebo houslista David Oistrach, jemuž jsou věnovány oba houslové koncerty. Koncert pro housle a orchestr č. 1 a moll op. 77 komponoval Šostakovič v letech 1947–1948. Do tvorby tohoto díla tak zasáhly nechvalně známé okolnosti prvního čtvrtletí roku 1948, kdy byl spolu s dalšími předními sovětskými skladateli z nejvyšších stranických míst tvrdě, avšak nespravedlivě kritizován a obviňován z modernismu a formalismu.

Dmitriji Šostakovičovi se však do značné míry podařilo situaci (vyvolanou Josifem Stalinem a jeho pravou rukou v kulturních záležitostech Andrejem Ždanovem) ustát a udržet si pozici „hlavního vývozního artiklu sovětské hudby“ do světa, a to včetně kapitalistického Západu. Proces očišťování byl však neobyčejně náročný a způsobil, že se První houslový koncert dočkal premiéry až po Stalinově smrti, sedm let od svého vzniku – 29. října 1955 s Davidem Oistrachem a Leningradskou filharmonií pod taktovkou Jevgenije Mravinského.

Sám skladatel o tomto díle napsal, že je to „svým charakterem v podstatě spíš symfonie pro sólové housle s orchestrem“. Virtuóz Oistrach se o skladbě vyslovil následovně: „Koncert je mimořádně zajímavým úkolem pro interpreta. Je to, chcete-li, velká, obsažná shakespearovská role, která vyžaduje od umělce velké emocionální a intelektuální vypětí a která skýtá obrovské možnosti nejen k demonstrování houslistovy virtuozity, ale především k vyjádření nejhlubších citů, myšlenek a nálad.“ A skutečně; jde o interpretačně mimořádně obtížné dílo, které je zároveň prosto obsahově prázdných virtuózních efektů. Jeho čtyři věty jsou kromě tempového označení pojmenovány také z hlediska své formy.

První částí je pomalé Nokturno. Po ponurém úvodu přednesou sólové housle hlavní téma celé věty, která je zkomponovaná v sonátové formě. V dalším průběhu úvodní části se pak sólový nástroj polyfonním způsobem proplétá s orchestrem. Následující Scherzo se vyznačuje pulzujícím rytmem. Dmitrij Šostakovič zde vůbec poprvé použil motiv d-es-c-h, které v několika pozdějších skladbách uplatnil jako svou značku (názvy tónů motivu jsou začátečními písmeny skladatelova jména a příjmení v německé transkripci – DSCH). V naší skladbě tato čtyřtónová hudební myšlenka zazní sice opakovaně, ale spíše nenápadně, navíc pouze v orchestrálním doprovodu.

Ústřední téma třetí věty pojmenované jako Passacaglia přednesou hned na jejím začátku violoncella s kontrabasy. Následný teskný zpěv houslí je náročný především na zachování předepsaných výrazových nuancí. Konec této části je tvořen rozsáhlou kadencí, v níž sólový nástroj mění náladu od melancholického pláče k neklidnému rozhořčení. Kadence ústí attaca do závěrečné věty, označené přiléhavě jako Burleska. Autor se zde inspiroval skotačivou rytmikou i melodikou lidových písní tzv. skomorochů, tj. dávných ruských potulných pěvců, herců a tanečníků.

Sergei Rachmaninoff
Symphonic Dances, Op. 45
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