Der Rosenkavalier – Waltz Sequence No. 1
Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 47 Listen in
Adagio from Symphony No. 10 in F-sharp major
Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks
About the event
One of the highlights of the season promises to be a real sensation. A concert offering humour, playfulness but also deep drama, with Patricia Kopatchinskaja as soloist, who has taken the violin world by storm.
“The sweeping joy of the opening waltz sequence of Der Rosenkavalier showcased all the BFO’s fortes,” wrote one critic of an earlier performance of the orchestra. Richard Strauss’s own selection from his opera, combining waltzes of Der Rosenkavalier into a single concert piece, is a joy to play for every section, thanks to its magical orchestration.
Jean Sibelius’s only concerto offers similar variety in its melodies. “I have great themes for the violin concerto,” the composer wrote about his work-in-progress. A revised version was conducted at the premiere by none other than Strauss. Sibelius, who had trained to be a violinist and intimately knew the instrument, composed one of the most comfortable, yet most challenging, solos for the violin in the history of music. Iván Fischer described the violinist of the evening, Patricia Kopatchinskaja, as “an enterprising and exciting woman, with unbounded imagination.” According to Bachtrack, she is incapable of giving a boring performance, and the Berner Zeitung simply calls her “Madam 150 percent.”
After the intermission, the orchestra will perform the first movement of the unfinished Symphony No. 10 by Gustav Mahler, who – like other composers – dreaded that the ninth would remain his last symphony. This Adagio, completed in 1911, the same year Der Rosenkavalier was written, has the same meditative, tragic tone as Symphony No. 9 and is something of a swansong.
The concert will conclude with the story of Till Eulenspiegel, as told by Strauss in his famous symphonic poem. Arranged as a rondo, the adventures are only linked by two unmistakable Till-motifs. These continue to echo even after the death of the title hero, suggesting that épater le bourgeois is eternal.