Kolja Blacher / fot. archiwum artysty
Kolja Blacher / fot. Felix Broede
Orchestral concerts
Plato's Symposium
09.12.2023
Sat.
6:00 PM
NFM, Red Hall
Programme:

L. Bernstein Serenade (after Plato’s „Symposium”) for violin, strings, percussion and harp 

***

C. Debussy String Quartet in G minor op. 10 (arr. J. Swensen)

Performers:

Kolja Blacher – violin and direction
NFM Leopoldinum Orchestra

Venue:
NFM, Red Hall
plac Wolności 1, 50-071 Wrocław
Pricelists:
from 30 to 75 zł

Could Plato, perhaps the most influential philosopher in history, have expected that the Symposium would inspire works of music? Probably not, but almost two and a half thousand years after Symposium was written, it inspired Leonard Bernstein to write a work that intrigued with its sound. Together with the String Quartet in G minor by Claude Debussy, it will be heard during the concert of the NFM Leopoldinum Orchestra with the excellent violinist Kolja Blacher.

During his lifetime, Leonard Bernstein was known primarily as an excellent conductor with a versatile repertoire and a tireless advocate of Gustav Mahler’s work, occasionally appearing as a pianist. He was also a brilliant and humorous educator, introducing children and young people to intricacies of music with peerless flair. However, Bernstein was afraid that all these activities would overshadow his own composing work, and in a way he was right. The Serenade after Plato: “Symposium” is a composition for solo violin, string orchestra, harp and percussion, completed in 1954. The inspiration was provided the figures of the seven speakers in Plato’s work. These are Phaedrus, Pausanias, Aristophanes, Eryximachus, Agatho, Socrates and Alcibiades. The premiere of the work took place in the Venetian theatre La Fenice.

Claude Debussy’s String Quartet in G minor was written in 1893 and is his only string quartet. This composition was performed in the year of its creation by the excellent Ysaÿe Quartet. Although the multitude of articulations and the consequent sophisticated colours reveal its impressionist character. However, as the researchers have shown, in terms of structure, this piece has a lot in common with Edvard Grieg’s Quartet in G minor. Debussy spoke quite disparagingly about the works of Grieg, and once even described them in an article as “snow-filled candies”. But he owed the Norwegian composer more than he cared to admit. The String Quartet in G minor will be heard in Joseph Swensen’s arrangement for string orchestra.

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