Karel Mark Chichon / fot. Marco Borggreve
Karel Mark Chichon / fot. Marco Borggreve
Orchestral concerts
Élan vital
21.02
Fri.
7:00 PM
NFM, Main Hall
Programme:

L. van Beethoven Egmont Overture op. 84 
R. Schumann Piano Concerto in A minor op. 54 
***
L. van Beethoven Symphony No. 7 in A major op. 92

Performers:

Karel Mark Chichon – conductor
Angela Hewitt – piano 
NFM Wrocław Philharmonic

Duration:
120 minut
Venue:
NFM, Main Hall
plac Wolności 1, 50-071 Wrocław
Pricelists:
from 10 to 95 zł

Élan vital, a concept coined by the French philosopher Henri Bergson, literally means “life drive” and refers to this creative force that propels the development of living beings and is the basis of all things creative. During the concert of the NFM Wrocław Philharmonic conducted by Karel Marek Chichon, we will hear the works of Ludwig van Beethoven and Robert Schumann, who, in order to create their works, had to demonstrate exceptional determination and great resources of the life force described by Bergson.

The concert will begin with the performance of the militant overture Egmont by Ludwig van Beethoven, full of pathos, but crowned with a joyful affirmation. This is the first of nine pieces written by the composer for the play of the same title by Johann Wolfgang Goethe. Its protagonist is Lamoral Egmont, a 16th-century Dutch commander and politician, leader of the anti-Spanish opposition, executed on the orders of Prince Ferdinand Álvarez de Toledo. His execution sparked an uprising, as a result of which the Netherlands gained independence. For Beethoven, Egmont’s sacrifice was an important symbol of resistance against terror. But wasn’t the heroic fight of the 16th-century politician also an inspiration for the composer, who was struggling with his inexorably progressing deafness? The problems that plagued Robert Schumann were completely different. He was struggling with a mental illness that reduced his quality of life and significantly prolonged and hindered the creative process. No situation illustrates this better than the story of the creation of the Piano Concerto in A minor, which will be performed that evening by the superb pianist Angela Hewitt. The composer initially wrote a single-movement Fantasy in A minor, revised it and unsuccessfully tried to sell it to a publisher. His wife, Clara, herself a composer and pianist, managed to persuade Robert to create two more movements, and she also premiered this work in Leipzig in 1841. The piece was a huge success and is now one of the most frequently performed piano concertos of the Romantic era.

The second part of the concert will be filled with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 in A major, referred to as a “dance apotheosis” by Wagner. The work was created in the spa town of Teplice (Bohemia), where the creator went to improve his failing health. The lively and energetic nature of the music meant that the new composition was enthusiastically welcomed by the audience, who, during the premiere in December 1813 in Vienna, demanded that the second movement be played again. Witnesses recalled that Beethoven conducted extremely expressively and sometimes jumped high when the dynamics changed. However, admiration for this work was not universal. The famous teacher Friedrich Wieck (Schumann’s father-in-law), who was present at the rehearsals, claimed that he’d heard some musicians and laymen say that such music could only be written when drunk!

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