23. 03. 2023
18:00 p.m.
Kino Vesmír
from 180 CZK

E3 Young conductors

Ludwig van Beethoven
Leonora No. 3 op. 72b

Camille Saint-Saëns
Piano Concerto No. 2 in g minor op. 22

César Franck
Symphony in d minor

 

Jan Schulmeister – piano
Janáček philharmonic Ostrava
Conducted by the Music Academy Zurich listeners under the direction of Johannes Schlaefli

 

The composition Leonara is the third version of the overture to Beethoven’s only opera Fidelio. The piece has quite different elements than is usual for opera overtures and its otherness makes it still appealing to audiences today. Richard Wagner once described the overture as “the most perfect drama in itself”. Listeners will enjoy the story told by the music even if they have never seen the opera.

French composer Camille Saint-Saëns was attracted to music from childhood. He received piano lessons from his aunt who recognised his talent at the age of two and a half. At the age of three he composed his first piece of music, the manuscript of which has survived to this day. He studied composition and organ at the Paris Conservatoire. At the time he was considered as the best organist in Europe. Piano Concerto No. 2 was written in 1868 and is probably the composer’s most played piano concerto. Saint-Saëns wrote the concerto in three weeks and had very little time to prepare the premiere; the work was therefore not initially successful according to contemporary critics. The composer appeared as soloist at the premiere. The orchestra was conducted by Anton Rubinstein, a Russian pianist and conductor who is still considered one of the greatest piano virtuosos.

The late Franck’s Symphony in D minor was originally the academic idea of an aging professor, but it manages to infuse it with a jubilant, light-hearted French esprit and, thanks to the excellent choice of thematic material, it manages to truly draw the listener in and captivate. It was completed in August 1888 and premiered at the conservatoire in February 1889, less than two years before the composer’s death.

 

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