Symphonic Concert Filharmonia Narodowa

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Symphonic Concert
Władysław Kłosiewicz, photo: Honorata Karapuda

The enigmatic name for Carl Nielsen’s Fourth Symphony (1916), ‘det uudslukkelige’ – ‘the inextinguishable’ or ‘the unquenchable’ – may be interpreted through the prism of the Danish composer’s commentary, in which he emphasises that he wanted to create a musical vision of the endless and insatiable will to live, which is eternally reborn. This thrilling, highly expressive work (with the famous ‘battle of the timpani’ in the finale) is also expressive of fear in the face of the increasing horrors of the First World War.

The great Polish harpsichordist Wanda Landowska, who made a remarkable contribution to the renaissance of early music at the beginning of the twentieth century, drew composers’ attention to the potential of the long-forgotten harpsichord, inspiring the composition of new works. Bohuslav Martinů’s succinct, graceful, wittily neobaroque Concerto was written in 1935 for Landowska’s pupil Marcelle de Lacour, augmenting the interesting and rich repertoire of works of this kind written between the wars.

Everything most beautiful and most characteristic in the music of the Latvian composer Pēteris Vasks can be found in his Musica serena for string orchestra (2015) – a work of post-Romantic expression that astonishes with its powerful emotionality and charms with its gentle euphony. This work was written to mark the seventieth birthday of the Finnish conductor Juha Kangas, a friend of the composer’s.

 

Piotr Maculewicz