"A surgeon with a conductor's baton,” is how Revizor described Marek Janowski in 2015. The Polish-born German conductor is no showman: although his technique is sparing, he is not afraid to take risks, and the emotion he releases is tremendous. As on his last visit, he is bringing a piece by Richard Strauss with him, and he's also preparing a Romantic violin concerto from one of the originators of film music.
A lover of nature and the mountains, Richard Strauss distilled his awe into An Alpine Symphony, which many consider to be the pinnacle of symphonic programme music. The work drifts past forest springs, waterfalls, flowering meadows and blinding glaciers before the fog descends and a storm breaks, eventually calming again. This is the first appearance of naturalism in music: in addition to a wind machine, thunder machine and other rare instruments, Strauss used a heckelphone which, pitched ...an octave lower than a standard oboe, could even convey the weeping of a child.
The concert's other composer is one of the fathers of film music and a two-time Oscar winner: Erich Wolfgang Korngold was only nine years old when one of his compositions prompted Gustav Mahler to declare him a musical genius. Although Hollywood was where he achieved his greatest successes, this is a career path that was forced on him: his Jewish origins had compelled him to leave Austria, and he always longed to return. After the fall of Hitler, he gave up film music and once again focused on concert music - including the post-Romantic Violin Concerto, here performed by German violinist Arabella Steinbacher, a regular collaborator of Janowski's.
Presented by: Budapest Festival Orchestra
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