Bach | Bruch | Schumann – Jubilee Concert

5 October, 7 p.m.
Witold Lutosławski Concert Studio of the Polish Radio, Warsaw

Krzysztof Jakowicz – violin
Jerzy Semkow Polish Sinfonia Iuventus Orchestra
Tadeusz Strugała – conductor

Johann Sebastian Bach – Air on G String from Orchestral Suite No.3 in D major (arr. G. Fitelberg)
Max Bruch – Violin Concerto in G minor No.1, Op.26
Robert Schumann – Symphony in D minor No.4, Op.120

Robert Schumann’s Symphony No. 4, contrary to the numbering which suggests it is the last one from the author’s four pieces of that genre, was composed when Schumann was a very young artist. It is in fact his second symphony, composed in the same year as the first one (1841), as a birthday present to his wife Clara. Ten years later, the author considerably revised the piece. The revised version is even more frequently performed than the original one. The romantic aura, subtle expression and innovative, integral form make Symphony No. 4 one of the greatest and most popular compositions of the artist.

Max Bruch was focused on his work as a conductor and educator in several German towns (with particularly strong connections with Berlin) and in Liverpool, where for a couple of seasons he was a guest conductor of local philharmonic concerts. Bruch’s relatively broad output received rather moderate interest – similarly to Brahms, he was a conservative composer, who valued classic forms, as opposed to “Neo-German Modernists” favoured by critics (as one of the commentators said, “this is how Mendelssohn would compose, if he lived longer”). At least one of his works, however, has gone down in history: Violin Concerto in G minor, which has become part of the canon of violin music, admired for excellent balance of form, virtuosity (the violin part was consulted with great Joseph Joachim) and romantic, post-Mendelssohn expression.

The famous part of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major is the seraphic Air on the G string, very frequently arranged by other composers. The title, which is not entirely adequate, comes from its remake made in the 19th century by German violinist August Wilhelmj. The arrangement greatly contributed to the popularisation of Bach’s Orchestral Suites. It was also his first piece recorded on a phonographic recorder (1902). The concert will be the meeting place of two great, or even legendary, Polish artists: Tadeusz Strugała as the conductor, and Krzysztof Jakowicz as the soloist. It is worth mentioning that Tadeusz Strugała celebrates 65 anniversary of artistic activity and his 85 birthday while Krzysztof Jakowicz turns 80 this year. [Piotr Maculewicz]