Concert
Visiting Orchestras

Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest Amsterdam / Mariss Jansons          

There is a photograph of Pierre Boulez: head bent forward slightly, one hand held to his chin, his gaze directed – where? Toward an ensemble, an orchestra, an audience? Although Boulez does not appear on the program, this image could be the backdrop for this concert by the Concertgebouworkest. In fact, Boulez has been preoccupied with each of the four featured works, has reflected upon them, interpreting them in word and deed, whether as essayist or conductor: Stravinsky’s Symphonies for Wind Instruments, with its acerbic charm, brings historical forms to dance with modern moves. Bartók’s Music for String Instruments, Percussion, and Celesta, is a filigree work spatialized music whose powerful percussion contingent looks beyond European musical traditions. The Firebird, was Stravinsky's trademark score – and to such an extent that he came to be known in the US as “Mr. Firebird.” And it was Boulez who suggested the common title for the Quatre dédicaces, a quartet of early pieces by Luciano Berio dating from the period of his fascination with Stravinsky.

This concert could be understood as an homage to Boulez the interpreter. Each dedication has its own dynamic. Stravinsky composed his Symphonies for Wind Instruments in memory of Claude Debussy. They sound instead almost like a riposte. Doubtless, Mariss Janson’s interpretations of these four works will sound very different from those of Boulez. After all, a true artist shows respect for others by saying: “I am different.”

Concert Programme

Igor Stravinsky [1882–1971]
Symphonies d`instruments à vent [1920]
à la memoire de Claude Achille Debussy

Béla Bartók [1881–1945]
Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta [1936]

Luciano Berio [1925–2003]
Quatre dédicaces for orchestra
Fanfara [1982] – Entrata [1980] – Festum [1989] – Encore [1978/1981]
German premiere

Igor Stravinsky
The Firebird
Ballet suite for orchestra [1909/10, rev. 1945]