Details

Toggle open/close

Sandor Veress

Four Transylvanian Dances

The Hungarian composer Sándor Veress studied with his country’s two musical giants, Bartók and Kodály, and he later joined Bartók as an ethnomusicology research assistant. Veress weathered the years of World War II in Budapest, but when political disturbances at home finally pushed him into exile, the Swiss conductor and patron Paul Sacher helped get Veress established in Berne, Switzerland. Sacher also introduced Veress’ Four Transylvanian Dances to Berne audiences, composed in stages between 1943 and 1949. Veress did not quote specific folksongs in these dances for string orchestra, but years of research had left those melodies deeply ingrained in his musical DNA. There are also clear signs of Bartok’s influence beyond ethnomusicology, like when the opening Lassu creates balanced stacks of perfect-fourth intervals and symmetrical gestures. In traditional Hungarian dancing, the slow and freeform Lassu would serve as a prelude for a faster dance, supplied here in the form of an Urgós, a couple’s style filled with athletic leaps. The Lejtős and Dobbantós constitute another slow-fast pairing, with the final selection evoking rustic folk fiddling.

Aaron Grad ©2019

Toggle open/close

Robert Schumann

Cello Concerto (arr. for Viola by Tabea Zimmermann)

Tabea Zimmermann, director and viola

Shortly after beginning a new job in Dusseldorf in 1850, Schumann spent two weeks drafting the score he originally titled Konzertstück, or “Concert Piece,” for cello and orchestra. He canceled a scheduled premiere in 1852, and then delayed its publication until 1854, relabeled as a Cello Concerto. This pioneering composition does contain the three typical movements of a concerto, but the original heading of Konzertstück captures Schumann’s desire to create a more integrated and continuous form, rather than a showy concerto full of virtuosity for its own sake. To that end, he dispensed with a hefty orchestral introduction, connected the three movements with linking material, and included orchestral accompaniment during a solo cadenza, among other departures from traditional concerto form.

Aaron Grad ©2019

Intermission
Toggle open/close
Watch Video

Ludwig van Beethoven

Symphony No. 1

Shortly after beginning a new job in Dusseldorf in 1850, Schumann spent two weeks drafting the score he originally titled Konzertstück, or “Concert Piece,” for cello and orchestra. He canceled a scheduled premiere in 1852, and then delayed its publication until 1854, relabeled as a Cello Concerto. This pioneering composition does contain the three typical movements of a concerto, but the original heading of Konzertstück captures Schumann’s desire to create a more integrated and continuous form, rather than a showy concerto full of virtuosity for its own sake. To that end, he dispensed with a hefty orchestral introduction, connected the three movements with linking material, and included orchestral accompaniment during a solo cadenza, among other departures from traditional concerto form.

Aaron Grad ©2019

About This Program

Approximate length 1:21

Internationally acclaimed German violist and musical powerhouse Tabea Zimmermann makes her SPCO debut in this program. Her warm and robust sound will be on display as she performs her arrangement of Schumann’s Cello Concerto for viola. Naturally sitting in a high register on the cello, this popular yet demanding concerto for cello welcomes a violist’s interpretation. The program concludes with Beethoven’s masterful First Symphony with Zimmermann leading the orchestra from within the viola section — a first for the SPCO.