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© Michael Trippel
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Jun 18

Prokofiev and Bruckner

Abo D
Bamberg, Konzerthalle, Joseph-Keilberth-Saal
17:00 Uhr

A passion for nature! In 1917, not long before the October Revolution, Prokofiev was staying at an estate near St. Petersburg, well away from political goings-on. Here he found the peace and quiet to complete his first Violin Concerto, whose »dreamlike opening« had been running through his head for several years. The violinist David Oistrakh enthusiastically likened the Concerto’s effect to »a sun-drenched landscape, bathed in nature’s refreshing fragrance«. After his years as an »enfant terrible«, Prokofiev was now showing his »softer side«, to avoid scandalizing Russia’s culture police. Like Prokofiev, Bruckner too often had a hard time with his critics. An introvert and a loner, he usually spent his summer holidays at the Abbey of St. Florian near Linz, where he also began his seventh Symphony – and with it, his breakthrough finally came, at the late age of 61, it should be said! Hanslick, high priest of Vienna’s critics, waspishly referred to it as a »giant symphonic serpent«, but the Symphony was so successful that it was one of the few Bruckner never reworked. He dedicated it to King Ludwig II of Bavaria. Bruckner, master of the sweeping crescendo, is supposed to have dreamed the first movement’s main theme. A trumpet call in the Scherzo was inspired by a cockcrow. The emotional Adagio is funeral music of agonized beauty, for the »lately departed, dearly beloved, immortal« Wagner. It is also the first piece in which Bruckner called for the heroic-sounding Wagner tubas, although none were available for the world premiere in Leipzig in 1884 – but you can be sure they’ll be there at our concert!

Manfred Honeck Conductor
Josef Špaček Violin

Sergei Prokofjew Konzert für Violine und Orchester Nr. 1 D-Dur op. 19
Anton Bruckner Symphonie Nr. 7 E-Dur

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