The Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne makes its performances archive available on demand with GO PLUS, the orchestra’s streaming platform, presenting a selection of entire concerts performed by the Gürzenich Orchestra from each season. The concert HD streams of the 2017/18 season, recorded live in Cologne’s Philharmonie include:
Bruckner | Ligeti
Christian Tetzlaff, violin
François-Xavier Roth, conductor
Bruckner’s 3rd Symphony is a piece where these seemingly contradictory aspects are especially obvious, particularly when one looks at the first version which is performed in Cologne. On one hand one can hear what he owes to Wagner, to whom he dedicated this symphony. On the other hand one can also hear the influences of the old German contrapuntal tradition. And then, there is this sometimes naive and very pure side of his invention.
That is something François-Xavier Roth finds in Ligeti, too: musical invention on the highest abstract level and a wonderfully alienated folk aspect, obligations to an old form – in this case the concerto – but a total transformation of this model from a modern point of view. These are the reasons why these two pieces lie next to each other marvellously. On another level, the Ligeti Violin Concerto is a piece that belongs to the Cologne heritage: It was premiered by our neighbour orchestra, the WDR Symphony. It is rare that a city has two great orchestras who are at the same time so deeply involved with the contemporary creation.
Debussy | Salonen | Bartók | Ligeti | Ravel
Nils Mönkemeyer, viola
Nicholas Collon, conductor
»Are these billowing waves the softness of air? Are these the fragrant vapours of pleasure?« Isolde’s words also come to mind with the lascivious sounds with which Claude Debussy
commences his prelude to the »afternoon of a faun«. Like clouds of heavy perfume, the atmosphere of dream and desire, of regret and lust in the Arcadian realm begins to spread with the flute solo, thus setting the mood for Nicholas Collon’s first subscription concert; Collon is the Gürzenich Orchestra’s new First Guest Director. Besides the faun and nymphs from Debussy’s
Prélude, two more famous couples from world literature appear: Daphnis and Chloé, and Tristan and Isolde. What they have in common is that the power of their love pushes boundaries—and that has also pushed music into new dimensions. Be it Ravel in the impressionist colour mixtures of his »choreographic symphony« or Wagner
with his unresolved Tristan chord. Longing even plays into Bartók’s
Viola Concerto in the form of a folk song, »For there is no med'cine for Love, neither meat, nor drink, nor any Charm ...« Nils Mönkemeyer will reach for the viola at this concert incl. Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Pentatonic Ètute, while György Ligeti
, as always, reaches for the stars.
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