bamberger symphoniker

extraordinary city.
extraordinary orchestra.

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Feb 19

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

»Mon orgue? – C‘est un orchestre!« As an organist in Paris, César Franck was well versed in all the sounds this instrument could produce. He dedicated his grand work »Prélude, fugue et variation« to his friend and colleague Camille Saint-Saëns. Franck’s motto of the organ as an entire orchestra also formed the basis of many compositions by Charles-Marie Widor, who likewise was a Paris organist. Widor’s Fourth Organ Symphony pulls out all the stops to create sounds ranging from a polyphonic Baroque orchestra to Wagnerian rhapsodies. Chopin’s G minor Ballad for piano strikes a very different tone. Based on a poem by Adam Mickiewicz, it is a work full of yearning melodies that develops dramatically. This free and romantic narrative piece will be followed by Bach’s monumental Fugue in E-flat major: it is written in five parts and is a masterly example of a triple fugue with three closely linked themes. Schumann’s Fugues on the B-A-C-H motif attest the deep reverence in which he held the Baroque master. He spent a long time honing these expressive character fugues, calling them »a work which I believe will perhaps outlive my other compositions the longest.« Mozart’s C minor Fantasy is a veritable instrumental drama – a splendid document of his extraordinary improvisatory skill. Liszt preceded his symphonic poem »Les Préludes« with a quote by Alphonse de Lamartine: »What is our life but a series of preludes to that unknown hymn whose first, solemn note is intoned by death?« The phases of life touched upon in this piece are struggles and storms, the joys of love and sorrow, comfort and the experience of nature – but despite these contrasting emotional states, the work is remarkably coherent.

Christian Schmitt Organ
Kristin Merscher Piano

César Franck Prélude, Fugue et Variation op. 18 für Klavier und Orgel
Charles-Marie Widor Toccata, Adagio und Finale aus der Symphonie op. 13 Nr. 4 für Orgel
Johann Sebastian Bach Fantasie und Fuge c-Moll BWV 537 für Orgel
Frédéric Chopin Ballade Nr. 1 g-Moll op. 23 für Klavier
Robert Schumann Fuge Nr. 1 B-Dur aus den »Sechs Fugen über den Namen BACH« op. 60 für Orgel
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Fantasie c-Moll KV 475 für Klavier
Franz Liszt »Les Préludes« für Klavier und Orgel