Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra

Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra | Jérémie Rhorer

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Jérémie Rohrer, conductor
Maximilian Hornung, cello

Egon Wellesz
Prosperos Beschwörungen. Fünf symphonische Stücke nach Shakespeares „Der Sturm”, op. 53

Alfredo Casella
Konzert für Violoncello und Orchester, op. 58

Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy
Symphonie Nr. 3 a-Moll, op. 56, „Schottische“


Misterioso. Sounds rise from the depths. Winds whip through this summer nightmare with the aerial ghost Ariel and the monster Caliban, which rises eerily. But in the finale, an intimate swan song for Ferdinand and Miranda, in which the magic formula of the trumpet signal from the beginning echoes in the end: with “Prospero’s Conjurations” op. 53 after Shakespeare’s “Tempest”, Egon Wellesz has made a brilliant contribution to the symphonic poetry of Viennese modernism. At the same time, the work marked a tragic turning point in the life of the stubborn student of Arnold Schoenberg and Guido Adler, who had come to fame both as a composer and as a musicologist. For barely a month after the successful premiere in Vienna in February 1938, Bruno Walter conducted “Prospero” in Amsterdam as well – on the day of Austria’s “Anschluss” with Hitler’s Germany. Wellesz, who had travelled with him, did not return to his homeland, but emigrated directly to England …
More than a hundred years earlier, in 1829, the 20-year-old Felix Mendelssohn set off further north to Scotland after successes in London. In Edinburgh he visited the Palace of Holyroodhouse, which is steeped in Mary Stuart’s history: “Everything is broken, rotten and the clear sky shines in. “I think I found the beginning of my Scottish Symphony there today.” But it took him 13 years, a third of his life, to complete it, his greatest symphony. After its melancholy introduction in balladic tones, it surprises with the uninterrupted sequence of four movements full of changing moods, which occasionally show sea storms, but do without concrete folk music echoes: Mendelssohn does not provide a musical travel guide, but an autonomous work of art. Alfredo Casella did the same in his Cello Concerto, written a few years before Wellesz’s “Prospero”: a neo-classical work, but expressive in its restless busyness – and with a dreamlike slow movement in the middle. In Casella’s finale, the stormy atmosphere that runs through the entire evening under the direction of RSO debutant Jérémie Rhorer is transformed into a perpetual motion machine, which he himself once confidently called the “improved flight of the bumblebee”: Cellist Maximilian Hornung will take off for it.

Walter Weidringer

Translated with (free version)

€ 6 - 68
Tickets Available