Mo Eiji Oue invites to the concerts:
Maurice Ravel drew on Charles Perrault’s children’s classic, the Mother Goose Tales, to compose his cycle of miniatures for piano four hands. Ma mere l’Oye was meant for performance by the children of his friends, the Godebski family. The idea came to his mind during one of the summer holidays he spent at his friends’ estate in Valvins. Their musically talented children were to be the first performers of the cycle, but it proved too difficult for them. In the following year, the composer orchestrated it for a ballet spectacle. The stage version did not enjoy any greater popularity, but the colourful suite became a staple of the symphonic repertoires and one of Ravel’s most popular works.
Olivier Messiaen died in 1992, leaving behind an unfinished composition, one of his last, dedicated to five excellent musicians: his pianist‑ wife Yvonne Loriod, cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, oboist Heinz Holliger, flutist Catherine Cantin, and conductor Myung‑Whun Chung. Yvonne Loriod supervised the completion of the orchestration for the existing parts of the Concert a quatre, which was premiered in 1994 by its dedicatees. The piece is a retrospective review of Messiaen’s own ideas (such as his transcripts of bird songs, used also in this composition) as well as inspirations from the history of music (subtle references to Mozart and the Baroque harpsichordists). Movement two is a transcription of his own Vocalise, written four decades earlier.
Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 was premiered in December 1813, during a concert raising money for veterans of the Napoleonic wars (where his battle piece Wellingtons Sieg was also performed). The Symphony immediately won the acclaim of the audience, which particularly liked the elegiac Allegretto with its dactylic rhythm and funeral procession‑ like character (they demanded it as an encore). The wealth and rhythmic energy of the Symphony inspired the admiration of many, but also the criticism of some commentators. Wagner’s opinion is frequently quoted – he saw the finale as an apotheosis of dance. There were also other, programmatic interpretations, though the composer himself did not suggest any programmes.