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Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra | Mariss Jansons | Leonidas Kavakos
Lucerne, Switzerland
Saturday, 1 September 2012 - 6:30 PM
Presenter: Lucerne Festival
Conductor: Mariss Jansons
Béla Bartók believed in a renewal of the art of music through a return to the melodies and rhythms of original folk music as it had been sung and played for centuries by country people in the Balkans. He collected thousands of such songs and dances during his expeditions throughout southeast Europe—and adapted their basic patterns to his own creative work. This process can be heard in his Second Violin Concerto from 1937/38, whose first movement uses a type of dance from Transylvania. The phenomenal Greek violinist Leonidas Kavakos will perform as soloist. Folklike strains likewise play a role in Gustav Mahler’s First Symphony, which Mariss Jansons will conduct in the second half—for example, in the composer’s quotations from his own “Liedern eines fahrenden Gesellen” (“Songs of a Wayfarer”) or in the eerie, canonic version of the tune “Frère Jacques” as a canon, which Mahler juxtaposes with klezmer music. An entire life history is mirrored in this symphony: from adolescent awakening and the blossoming of first love through disillusionment to the liberation of death in a finale that takes us, as the composer phrases it, “dall’inferno al paradise.”
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