2009. szeptember 16., szerda

Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra - Debussy - Dutilleux - Ravel - M.Jansons - D.Sitkovetsky


01 - Debussy La Mer 01 De L'aube ŕ Midi - 09:25
Sur La Mer
02 - Debussy La Mer 02 Jeux De Vagues - 07:32
03 - Debussy La Mer 03 Dialogue Du Vent - Et De La Mer 08:31
04 - Dutilleux_L'arbre Des Songes - 05:29
(D. Sitkovetsky, Violin) I Librement
05 - Dutilleux_L'arbre Des Songes - 02:48
(D. Sitkovetsky, Violin) Interlude
06 - Dutilleux_L'arbre Des Songes - 02:10
(D. Sitkovetsky, Violin) II Vif
07 - Dutilleux_L'arbre Des Songes - 02:12
(D. Sitkovetsky, Violin) Interlude 2
08 - Dutilleux_L'arbre Des Songes - 05:57
(D. Sitkovetsky, Violin) III Lent
09 - Dutilleux_L'arbre Des Songes - 01:19
(D. Sitkovetsky, Violin) Interlude 3
10 - Dutilleux_L'arbre Des Songes - 06:11
(D. Sitkovetsky, Violin) IV Large Et
11 - Ravel_La Valse 1 Mouvement De Valse - 06:35
12 - Ravel_La Valse 2 Un Peu Plus Moderé - 04:19
13 - Ravel_La Valse 3 Mouvement Du Début - 01:34
14 - Ravel_La Valse 4 Applaus - 00:25

Total - 64:27

Claude Debussy - La mer After Debussy had
cast off tonality in such an individual
way (according to Pierre Boulez, one
could rightly claim that the first
awakenings of contemporary music had
occurred with Prelude a l'apres-midi d'un
faune (1894)), he set out to tackle the
problem of symphonic structure with La
mer, trois esquisses symphoniques. With
the hollowing out of the tonal dialectics
of thematic material as a principle of
creating structure, the foundation on
which the symphony rested at the end of
the nineteenth century had indeed also
begun to crumble. Unlike Schoenberg,
however, Debussy did not wish to invoke a
new doctrine. Following this line of
reasoning, he would thus have to go in
search of a unique musical language, one
to be applied perhaps only once, yet so
effective that it could be 'understood'
by others. Debussy would have to get it
right the very first time, and that is
precisely what he did. Besides embodying
an entirely original musical language, La
mer also uses unambiguous symphonic
rhetoric. When he started working on La
mer in 1903, Debussy, whose father had
served in the marine infantry, wrote to
his colleague Andre Messager from
Bichain, in Burgundy, (that he had been
destined for the fine life of a sailor
and that it was only by chance that he
was led away from it.) 'You perhaps do
not know that I was destined for the fine
life of a sailor and that it was only by
chance that I was led away from it.' As a
young man, Debussy himself had
experienced danger on more than one
occasion and had witnessed a storm on the
coast of Brittany [; the memory of the
sensation of fear had always stayed with
him.] 'It is a passionate feeling that I
never before experienced - Danger! It is
not unpleasant. One lives!' To Messager,
incidentally, he relativised, 'You will
say that the ocean doesn't wash the hills
of Burgundy and that what I am doing
might be like painting a landscape in a
studio.' Indeed, Debussy tried in La mer
- despite the literary titles of the
sketches - not so much to tell a story
but to 'paint the sea in sound'. The idea
of parallels existing between painting
and music were prevalent at the time.
Camille Mauclair wrote in La Peinture
musicienne et la fusion des arts (1902),
'Claude Monet's admirable landscapes are
simply symphonies of luminous waves, and
Mr Debussy's music, based not on a
succession of themes but on the
comparative power of the sounds in
themselves, has remarkable similarities
to those paintings. It is Impressionism
in patches of sound.' Impressionism was,
in fact, well past its peak by that time;
interestingly enough, Debussy chose work
by the Japanese artist Hokusai, whom Van
Gogh and Gauguin admired, to adorn the
cover of the score. Compared with an
Impressionistic work such as Prelude a
l'apres-midi d'un faune, La mer, like the
Japanese prints, has a more accentuated
structure and wilder - 'fauvist' -
colours. The image of the sea can be
brought into relation not only with the
static, intangible harmonies in Debussy's
music, but also with the fast-moving
figures repeated as if swirling in a
whirlpool, or even the long-held 'pedal
points' expressing the calm of the waves.
In this way, the first movement portrays
the sun slowly climbing above the horizon
and the sea coming to life, with the
famous 'melting' melody just before the
climax at the end - a unique combination
of alto oboe and cello - depicting the
midday heat. Changing tonalities can be
distinguished, but, owing to the lack of
tonic in the chords, only a vague feeling
of forward motion remains without the
slightest tonal development. With its
abstract interplay of lines (and its
title), the second movement looks ahead
to Debussy's Jeux (1912), the very first
'cubist' piece of music. Within the
overall symphonic structure of the work,
one could describe this 'play of the
waves' as a scherzo. The triptych is
concluded with the tempestuous dialogue
of the wind and the sea, in which the
drama of the first movement and certain
motifs return, but without resulting in
formal symmetry. It is no exaggeration to
say that La mer ushered in a new
symphonic style. Henri Dutilleux -
L'Arbre des songes Henri Dutilleux
belongs to that generation of composers
who are virtually impossible to place,
having embarked on their careers right
before the Second World War broke out.
After a slowdown in the 1930s, the
modernisation of French musical life,
initiated by Debussy, now came to a
complete standstill. Dutilleux was too
young to align himself with Messiaen and
La Jeune France. After the war, a
somewhat younger generation of composers
quickly came to power under the
leadership of the radical Pierre Boulez.
Dutilleux maintained his isolated
position, which in retrospect proved a
boon to his career. Today, he is
considered one of the most original
voices in twentieth-century music.
Dutilleux developed a style unrelated to
any tonal system or school, a style in
which intuitive processes play an
important role. It is based on a
typically French existential world view:
all his works are rooted in the mystery
of existence. Subscribing to the
Proustian idea of artistic creation as
croissance progressive, continuous growth
from a single source, Dutilleux turned
away from traditional multi-movement
symphonic forms. His central tenet became
the principle of metamorphosis, the
gradual process of transformation in
different stages. In L'Arbre des songes,
the four main sections are joined by
three interludes in which earlier
elements return with an altered
structure, thus in turn forming the basis
for what follows. Pauses between the
various sections are strictly forbidden.
The entire work forms an organic whole -
one that in this case is modelled on a
growing tree, starting at the roots and
ending in leafy branches. Dutilleux
initially wanted to call this violin
concerto 'Broceliande'. A second
philosophical idea is connected to the
work - one that states that every
perception of a phenomenon is merely a
snapshot of an intangible 'true form'.
That is why Dutilleux's musical motifs
never have a definite form but serve as
the basis for other, new developments. In
this continuing development, he uses
recognisable pivot notes - without
further tonal significance - like a
Proustian aide-memoire or other points of
reference for musical memory. Dutilleux
had no wish to write a traditional
concerto in which the soloist is pitted
against the orchestra. The solo part is
fully integrated into the overall
orchestral structure. The third interlude
is based on the violinist's warm-up
exercise. In the French tradition, timbre
is a very specific and structural element
in the work. The whole composition has a
unique 'ringing' quality to it owing to
the use of chimes, antique cymbals,
vibraphone, piano/celesta, harp and
cimbalom. As the work progresses, their
role becomes increasingly important.
Debussy was one of the first composers to
include the cimbalom in the orchestra in
his orchestral arrangement of La plus que
lente (1910). Here, as in his next
orchestral work Mystere de l'instant,
Dutilleux has used the instrument
sparingly like an expensive spice. Back
in 1946, the Royal Concertgebouw
Orchestra, conducted by Eduard van
Beinum, performed one of Dutilleux's
short early works, followed in 1953 by
his First Symphony (1951). The
orchestra's performances of the Second
Symphony in 1960 and Metaboles, the third
key symphonic work in Dutilleux's ouvre,
in 1966 were given soon after both world
premieres. Since then, the orchestra has
maintained its close relationship with
the French master, who has come to
Amsterdam several times to hear his works
performed. Ravel - La valse Although
Debussy was an important model for Ravel,
particularly in the beginning (Romain
Rolland described him in 1904 as being
'plus Debussyiste que Debussy'), these
two composers, so often associated with
each other, are strikingly different,
mainly because of their contrasting
characters. Debussy could be likened to
an alchemist who opens his laboratory to
inspection even when sometimes failing to
produce pure gold. Ravel was a kind of
diamond merchant who presented only those
gems he had cut to perfection. Debussy
blurs the lines between music, literature
and the visual arts. Ravel, on the other
hand, admired Mozart, and he shared his
opinion that 'there is nothing that music
cannot undertake, or dare, or portray,
provided it always remains music.' La
valse is one such piece cut to pure
perfection. The work owes its origin to
Diaghilev's idea for a ballet based on
the theme of Vienna. The plan was not
realised because of the outbreak of the
First World War, and when Ravel ended up
completing the work in 1919, it hardly
reflected the city in its present state.
A homage seemed unfitting, and the French
saw La valse as a caricature of old
Vienna. Diaghilev ultimately rejected the
work as unsuitable for a ballet, but a
hint of the scenario can still be found
in the score: 'Through whirling clouds,
waltzing couples may be faintly
distinguished. The clouds gradually
scatter; one sees an immense hall filled
with a swirling throng.... An imperial
court, about 1855.' Premiered under the
title Poeme choregraphique pour orchestre
in Vienna in 1920, La valse has remained
a major showpiece in the orchestral
repertoire ever since. Mark van Dongen
Mariss Jansons Mariss Jansons was
appointed as the Royal Concertgebouw
Orchestra's sixth chief conductor in
September 2004. From 1988, he had
appeared on many occasions as a guest
conductor in Amsterdam. Latvian by birth
and a resident of St Petersburg, Jansons
won great international acclaim for his
exceptional achievements as music
director of the Oslo Philharmonic
Orchestra from 1979 to 2000. He then went
on to become music director of the
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, which also
gained widespread recognition during his
tenure. Born in Riga, Jansons moved to
Leningrad at the age of thirteen,
studying violin, piano and orchestral
conducting at the conservatory there. He
went on to study with Hans Swarowsky in
Vienna and Herbert von Karajan in
Salzburg in 1969, winning the
International von Karajan Foundation
Competition in Berlin two years later. In
1973, Jansons was appointed Mravinsky's
assistant with the St Petersburg
orchestra, which Jansons's father Arvid
had also conducted. Jansons was appointed
music director of the Bavarian Radio
Symphony Orchestra in Munich in September
2003, a post he combines with his work
with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.
Jansons has received various national
distinctions for his achievements,
including the Star of the Royal Norwegian
Order of Merit, conferred on him by His
Majesty King Harald V of Norway. He is
also an honorary member of the Royal
Academy of Music in London and the
Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna.
In May 2006, the President of Latvia
conferred on him the country's highest
honour, the Three-Star Order. Dmitry
Sitkovetsky Dmitry Sitkovetsky was born
in Azerbaijan, trained in Moscow and
continued his studies at the Juilliard
School of Music in New York. Sitkovetsky
has performed with leading orchestras
throughout the world, collaborating with
such conductors as Claudio Abbado,
Herbert Blomstedt, Charles Dutoit, Mariss
Jansons and Wolfgang Sawallisch. He makes
regular guest appearances at major
festivals and has headed festivals
himself in Finland, Sweden, Azerbaijan,
Seattle and Tuscany. Sitkovetsky founded
the New European Strings Chamber
Orchestra and has won acclaim for his
arrangements of various well-known
compositions for string orchestra. He
performs and conducts contemporary music
on a regular basis, having premiered
violin concertos written for him by
Shchedrin, Casken, Meyer and Corigliano.
In addition, Sitkovetsky has been active
as a conductor since 1990. He was
appointed principal conductor of the
Greensboro Symphony Orchestra in the
2003-4 season after having served as
principal conductor of the Ulster
Orchestra, among others. Translation:
Josh Dillon The Royal Concertgebouw
Orchestra The Royal Concertgebouw
Orchestra was founded in 1888 and grew
into a world renowned ensemble under the
leadership of conductor Willem
Mengelberg. Links were also forged at the
beginning of the 20th century with
composers such as Mahler, Richard
Strauss, Debussy, Ravel, Stravinsky,
Schonberg and Hindemith, several of these
conducting their own compositions with
the Concertgebouw Orchestra. Eduard van
Beinum took over the leadership of the
orchestra from Mengelberg in 1945 and
introduced the orchestra to his passion
for Bruckner and the French repertoire.
Bernard Haitink first shared the
leadership of the Concertgebouw Orchestra
with Eugen Jochum for several years and
then took sole control in 1963. Haitink
was named conductor laureate in 1999; he
had continued the orchestra's musical
traditions and had set his own mark on
the orchestra with his highly-praised
performances of Mahler, Bruckner, Richard
Strauss, Debussy, Ravel and Brahms.
Haitink also brought about an enormous
increase in the number of gramophone
recordings made and foreign tours
undertaken by the orchestra. Riccardo
Chailly succeeded Haitink in 1988; under
his leadership the Royal Concertgebouw
Orchestra confirmed its primary position
in the music world and continued to
develop, gaining under him international
fame for its performances of 20th century
music as well as giving memorable
performances of Italian operas. Under
Chailly the orchestra made many extremely
successful appearances at the most
important European festivals such as the
Internationale Festwochen Luzern, the
Salzburger Festspiele and the London
Proms, as well as performing in the
United States, Japan and China. Riccardo
Chailly was succeeded by Mariss Jansons
in September 2004. The orchestra was
named the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
by Her Majesty Queen Beatrix on the
occasion of the orchestra's hundredth
anniversary on 3 November 1988.

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