Is it a measure of the worth of a piece of music to be modern, or to have been considered so back in its own time? In the 'better circles' of times past, it was indeed normal practice to give preference to innovative composers and condemn those who were 'behind the times'. Nowadays we see things differently, looking primarily at the richness of the work's message, the quality of its artistic elaboration, and its poetry and evocativeness. This concert presents three works that acquire their depth by posing questions of modernity and traditionalism.
Born in Moscow 45 years ago and now based in the United States, Olga Kern is one of the most successful piano virtuosos of our time, one who over the course of her career so far has shown intense interest in the Russian repertoire, which is perhaps a good reason for the fact that we'll be hearing her play Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3, one of the most popular - and at the same time, most difficult - concert works ever written for her instrument. Typically late Romantic in its melodic and h...armonic worlds, it was written in 1909 - the same year that Arnold Schönberg, who was born in 1874, making him a year younger than Rachmaninoff - wrote Five Orchestral Pieces, a groundbreaking and modern composition that brought new colours and means of expression to the world of music. The two composers therefore interpreted their calling differently: Rachmaninoff spent his entire life in a relationship with tradition, while Schönberg believed in change and developing new techniques and even an entirely new method of composing music. Now we will get to hear and marvel at the music of both composers. In spite of the fact that many people consider Brahms's Symphony No. 4, with its passacaglia in the fourth movement built on a Baroque pattern, Schönberg proved, in a great study published on the centenary of the German Romantic composer's birth, that he was nevertheless a forward-looking composer.
Presented by: Hungarian National Philharmonic
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