Two outstanding artists, the violinist Janine Jansen and the clarinetist Martin Fröst, perform in a new double concerto by Sally Beamish. Klaus Mäkelä conducts a varied programme which concludes with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6.
British-born Sally Beamish (b.1956) draws on music from three countries in her new double concerto for violin, clarinet and orchestra – Scotland, where she lived for three decades, the Netherlands, Janine Jansen’s homeland, and Sweden, homeland of Martin Fröst. Two of Beamish’s children also lived in Sweden during the development of the concerto in 2020. The work has been christened with the Swedish title Distans, and has longing and reaching out to loved ones as its core themes.
Jean-Féry Rebel (1666–1747) was an accomplished violinist, a student of the famous composer Jean-Baptiste Lully, and later court composer to Louis XIV. He composed music across a variety of genres, including a string of “choreographed symphonies”. “Chaos” is the introduction to one of these, The Elements from 1738, which describes the chaos which reigns on the brink of creation. The work begins with a powerful dissonance or cluster, which stands unparalleled in 18th century music.
South-Korean composer Unsuk Chin (b. 1961) is one of the most esteemed composers for orchestra of our time. Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827) is one of her most significant sources of inspiration, and subito con sforza is written on the occasion of the 250th anniversary of his birth, commissioned by the Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam. The short, contrast-filled work contains a number of references to Beethoven’s music, and is inspired by Beethoven’s sketchbooks, in particular the quote: Major and minor. I am a winner.
Beethoven adored nature, and was often inspired during his long walks, taken with a sketchbook under his arm. In his Symphony No. 6, also known as his Pastorale symphony, he offers up a rich description of his impressions of nature, with a short explanation for every movement. The symphony begins with a description of the feeling of happiness that comes with stepping out into the natural world. Later on, the listener hears the quiet flow of a brook, cheerful townspeople and a violent tempest before the idyllic ending.
(Translation from Norwegian: Sarah Osa)
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