MENDELSSOHN |HOCHBERG | BRAHMS. Concert in memory of Prof. Piotr Baron
20 November 2021, 7:00 p.m.
Witold Lutosławski Polish Radio Concert Studio, Warsaw
Zofia Antes | piano
Jerzy Semkow Polish Sinfonia Iuventus Orchestra
Paweł Przytocki | conductor
Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy – A Midsummer Night’s Dream Overture
Bolko Graf von Hochberg – Piano Concerto in C minor, Op. 42
Johannes Brahms – Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68
Prof. Piotr Baron, – photo private archive; Zofia Antes – photo Aleksandra Bator; Paweł Przytocki – photo Ireneusz Skąpski
After the failure of Piano Concerto No. 1 (1859), which was poorly received by the public and critics, Johannes Brahms did not present a new work for a large orchestra for almost two decades. Though he began writing the first of his four symphonies in 1855, the final version was not performed until over 20 years later, in 1876! At the time, it was received enthusiastically and many critics compared it to the works of Beethoven (to the composer’s irritation). Despite its outwardly classical features, Symphony No. 1 in C minor is saturated with highly romantic expression; the opening introduction, set against the pulsating rhythm of a timpani, makes an incredible impression. The solemn, hymnal character of the main theme of the finale is an external reference to Beethoven (immediately noticeable for listeners), which seems to allude to the melody of Ode to Joy from his 9th Symphony.
The annals of music history include many aristocrats who were gifted with true musical talent and highly valued as composers, including Carlo Gesualdo, the Prince of Venosa, Count Unico Wilhelm van Wassenaer, Prussian King Frederick the Great, and more recently, Count Bolko von Hochberg, born into a powerful family that for centuries ruled vast estates in Silesia, among them Książ Castle. In his time, he was a respected author of operas, songs and chamber works (published under the pseudonym Johann Heinrich Franz), who also held important positions, incl. as Intendant of the Royal Theatre Institute in Berlin. His now somewhat forgotten work, maintained in the late-Romantic spirit, is being rediscovered thanks to the efforts of his family and Polish musicologists. A contemporary performance of his Piano Concerto in C minor will be interpreted by respected pianist and chamber musician Zofia Antes, who performs in Poland and abroad and works, among others, at the Institute of Music of the University of Warmia and Mazury, conducted by Paweł Przytocki, conductor of the Arthur Rubinstein Philharmonic in Łódź since the 2017/2018 season (previously the conductor of the Baltic Philharmonic in Gdańsk and the Karol Szymanowski Philharmonic in Krakow, among others), as well as a lecturer at the Academy of Music in Krakow.
The programme will also feature a unique Silesian accent in the form of a musical tribute to Prof. Piotr Baron, an outstanding researcher who popularised the music of his region, a respected pedagogue (who lectured, among others, at the State Higher Vocational School in Nysa), the founder and director of the Silesian Composers’ Festival, and a conductor, organist, composer and art therapist, whose premature death on 24 July 2020 was mourned by the regional and national musical community.
During the event the rules determined in the Ordinance of the Council of Ministers related to the establishment of the certain limitations, injunctions and bans due to the conditions of epidemic will be in force as well as their update: Current rules and restrictions.
Tickets: Polskie Radio – Bilety24