Pascal Rophé / fot. N. Ikegami
Pascal Rophé / fot. N. Ikegami
Orchestral concerts
Bruce Liu & the NFM Wrocław Philharmonic
26.01.2024
Fri.
7:00 PM
NFM, Main Hall
Programme:

L. van Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat major op. 19
***
G. Mahler Symphony No. 5 in C sharp minor

Performers:

Pascal Rophé – conductor
Bruce Liu – piano
NFM Wrocław Philharmonic

Venue:
NFM, Main Hall
plac Wolności 1, 50-071 Wrocław
Pricelists:
from 30 to 115 zł

His triumph at the 18th International Chopin Piano Competition in 2021 opened the door to an international career. This time, the Wrocław audience will listen to Bruce Liu’s interpretation of an early concerto by Beethoven, and after the intermission, the French conductor Pascal Rophé will conduct Mahler’s Fifth Symphony.

Although Ludwig van Beethoven’s Piano Concerto in B flat major is now known as his second piano concerto, it was actually written first, and the confusion was caused by the publisher who published the first two concertos in reverse order. It was written between 1787 and 1789, when Beethoven was still under a strong influence of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Although many elements of the work testify to this, the various dynamic contrasts woven into the narrative by the young composer prove his individualism. The premiere of the work probably took place during the Beethoven’s first Viennese concert at the Burgtheater in 1795. He intended to show in the Concerto in B flat  major his class and skills as a piano virtuoso.  

The Concerto will be followed by Gustav Mahler’s monumental, multithreaded Fifth Symphony in C sharp minor. Mahler considered it a cursed work that no one would be able to understand. He even wished he could conduct it fifty years after his own death! In a way, he was right, because it was then that his work began to gain widespread recognition among performers and audiences. Due to the degree of difficulty and variety of moods, The Fifth is a serious challenge for orchestras and conductors to this day. Although it is not a programmatic work, the way it is built indicates the author’s desire to present a metaphorical journey on the basis of a per aspera ad astra dramaturgical scheme. The first two movements – the funeral march and the fast part – are dark and desperate. They are brightened only for a moment by a triumphant chorale of brass instruments at the end of the second movement. The monumental Scherzo offers the listener a strange mixture of moods. We will find here a stylisation of an Austrian folk dance, a landler, a bucolic horn solo or sharp rhythmic fragments, according to some commentators, being a stylisation of the dance of death. The Adagietto for harp and strings, or the fourth movement, is a love song that the composer dedicated to his beloved Alma Schindler, while the joyful finale in the form of a rondo offers a resolution of conflicts and difficulties, crowned with the return of the solemn chorale from the second movement. Large fragments of this work were used in the film Tár, starring Cate Blanchett.

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