Concerto for Violoncello and Orchestra, A minor op. 129
"The Firebird", Suite
Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra
Osmo Vänskä, conductor
Nicolas Altstaedt, violoncello
At the beginning of the 20th century, Igor Stravinsky presented his exquisite Russian fairy-tale ballet "The Firebird" to Parisian audiences, his first world success, which he later called his "Hörbonbon". He revised the magnificent orchestral suite from it twice. It is preceded by one of the romantic yet harmonically excitingly innovative tone poems by Jean Sibelius, whose piece "Pohjola's Daughter" is also about an ancient fairy tale, a Finnish one of course, about a "daughter of nature". At the beginning of this concert, the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra and its principal conductor, Finnish maestro Osmo Vänskä, present "Kafka's Dream", dreamed and set to music by Donghoon Shin. The 1983-born South Korean is the winner of the prestigious 2022 Claudio Abbado Composition Prize. "'Kafka's Dream' shimmered and shimmered, offering a stylised kind of theatricality," said Neil Fischer in The Times. The celebrated cellist Nicolas Altstaedt has an almost inexhaustible repertoire. This time he devotes himself to what is probably the most important cello concerto of the German Romantic period, that of Robert Schumann. It is hard to believe that Schumann composed this complex and deeply poetic piece in a fortnight in 1850, at the happy beginning of his time in Düsseldorf.
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