RICHTER | HUMMEL | BEETHOVEN – ONLINE
10th April 2021, 8 p.m.
ONLINE CONCERT from Witold Lutoslawski Concert Studio, Warsaw
Broadcast on YouTube channel
Aleksander Kobus | trumpet
Jerzy Semkow Polish Sinfonia Iuventus Orchestra
Andrzej Kosendiak | conductor
Franz Xaver Richter – Symphony in D-major
Johann Nepomuk Hummel – Trumpet Concerto in E-flat major
Ludwig van Beethoven – Symphony No. 2 in D-major, op. 36
Aleksander Kobus – phot. Wojciech Nekanda-Trebka
Andrzej Kosendiak – phot. Sławomir Przerwa
Mannheim played a particularly important role in the development of the classical symphony form – the residing Elector Carl Theodor was among the most musical rulers of 18th-century Europe. He generously sponsored the court orchestra, which gained fame as one of the finest ensembles of its time, while its virtuosity inspired numerous composers to innovative experiments (the so-called “Mannheim School”). This city, and later Salzburg during Mozart’s young years, was the place of work for one of the most important precursors of the classical symphony, the Czech František Xaver Richter. This concert we will be a chance to listen to one of his charming compositions, created at the intersection of the late Baroque Galant style and the new classicising trends.
Even though his Symphony No. 1 received a rather indifferent reception, Beethoven soon started to compose another work of this genre. Meanwhile, a dramatic event happened in his life – he noticed the first symptoms of hearing loss and went through a period of breakdown. It is hard to believe that almost exactly at the same time a composition as cheerful and joyful as Symphony No. 2 was being written! An explanation to that could be composer’s need to escape from a depressed mood and thoughts of illness. The extensive and full of pathos Adagio introduction precedes the joyful and energetic first movement, which despite its traditional formal assumptions already reveals Beethoven’s considerable individuality. The charming Larghetto exudes dignity and serenity, delighting with its broad and noble cantilena. The third movement is called Scherzo – ever since it has permanently replaced the “unfashionable” minuet that was still present in the previous symphony. The playful finale seems to distance itself from the solemn mood of the first two movements. Although in its character it is a tribute to Haydn’s concepts, the way the orchestra is managed heralds Beethoven’s fully individual style, which he expressed in his next symphonic compositions, including the epoch-making Eroica.
In Vienna, Johann Nepomuk Hummel’s career paths crossed with those of Beethoven. The eight years older composer and the younger musician developed a friendship which, however, was also marked by certain rivalry. Hummel’s works, somewhat forgotten today, still find favour among performers and listeners – they are technically excellent and acoustically beautiful. The listeners will be able to appreciate it while listening to his brilliant Trumpet Concerto, composed for the famous virtuoso Anton Weidinger to add splendour to the New Year’s concert in 1804, which inaugurated the composer’s service to Prince Esterházy as Haydn’s successor. During the April concert the piece will be performed by Aleksander Kobus, a musician of the Symphony Orchestra of the National Forum of Music in Wrocław, a doctoral student of the Academy of Music in Wrocław and a valued soloist, applauded on many stages in Poland and abroad.
Another guest arriving from Wrocław will be the conductor of the evening, Andrzej Kosendiak, director of the National Forum of Music, a hugely meritorious animator of cultural life in many fields, organiser and originator of several musical projects, professor of the Vocal Department of the Academy of Music in Wrocław and Chairman of the Board of the Polish Philharmonics Association. This valued conductor carries out numerous projects with the NFM Choir, the NFM Boys’ Choir, Wrocław Baroque Orchestra and the NFM Wrocław Philharmonic, several philharmonic ensembles in Poland and abroad, as well as with the Wrocław Baroque Ensemble – an early music chamber ensemble which he founded and leads. He has performed in many European countries and in the USA.