Bartók Prokofiev Mena

A Matter of Life and Death

Oslo Concert Hall Concert has been played

Behzod Abduraimov © Evgeny Eutykhov

A Matter of Life and Death

Young composers Serge Prokofiev and Béla Bartók wrote the two works performed in this concert around the same time – both of these brimming with energy and life.

Serge Prokofiev (1891–1953) was only twenty-two when he wrote his Piano Concerto No. 2 in 1913. He had composed it in memory of a friend at the St. Petersburg Conservatory who had taken his own life in the same year. While the melancholy first movement might evoke Rachmaninov’s piano works, the three subsequent movements overflow with energy.

Béla Bartók (1881–1945) wrote The Wooden Prince during the years 1914-1916, based on a libretto by his friend Béla Balázs. Bartók was deeply depressed at the time, but The Wooden Prince gave him a lift in more ways than one – and the premiere in Budapest in 1917 was an enormous success.

The music is a mixture of fascinating orchestra sounds, and seems inspired by the work of Claude Debussy and Richard Strauss. We meet a genuine, human prince who falls in love with a princess. But a scheming fairy conspires to make the forest block the prince’s way to her, and in order to get her attention the prince disguises one of the trees in the forest as himself. Things do not go as planned: the “wooden prince” comes alive, and the princess escapes with him instead.

(Translation from Norwegian: Sarah Osa)

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Adult 150 - 540 NOK
Senior 150 - 430 NOK
Student 150 - 270 NOK
Child 150 NOK

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Bartók Prokofiev Mena

Oslo Concert Hall Concert has been played