RESPIGHI | STRAVINSKIJ | BEETHOVEN

Pietari Inkinen

From 2008 to 2016 Pietari Inkinen was music director of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, where he now holds the title of Honorary Director; he also held the title of Principal Conductor of the Ludwigsburg Schlossfestspiele from 2014 to 2019. Pietari Inkinen is also a successful violinist and studied at the Cologne Music Academy with Zakhar Bron, winning various prizes and awards for his solo work, before continuing his conducting studies at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki.

Wednesday 12 February | H 20.30

Auditorium Manzoni

MAIN PARTNER

Program

OTTORINO RESPIGHI

Fountains of Rome Symphonic poem P. 106

IGOR STRAVINSKIJ

The Firebird Orchestra Suite (1919 version)

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN

Symphony n. 4 in B flat major op. 60

COMPOSERS

Ottorino Respighi

Fountains of Rome Symphonic poem P. 106

Year of composition: 1916

First performance: Rome, Teatro Augusteo, March 11, 1917

Movements:

1. The Valle Giulia fountain at dawn

2. The Triton fountain in the morning

3. The Trevi fountain at noon

4. The fountain of Villa Medici at sunset

Fountains of Rome is undoubtedly one of the most significant pages in the history of twentieth century music. Respighi is one of the first to perceive a new musical dimension, for that era, way ahead of his time: a visual one. The composer puts himself in the place of a photographer and proposes “images” to the public (each of the four movements is in fact dedicated to a fountain in Rome at a different time of the day), already toned with a strongly personalized lens. The technical and linguistic means are among the most advanced and modern, nowadays, used for the great cinema soundtracks.

Igor Fedorovic Stravinskij

The Firebird Orchestra Suite (version 1919)

Year of composition: 1910 (Second Suite – 1919)

Movements:

1. Introduction

2. The firebird and its dance

3. Variation of the firebird

4. Ronda of the princesses: chorovad

5. Dance of King Kascei

6. Berceuse and Finale

The Firebird first sees the light of day in 1910, composed by the twenty-seven year old Stravinsky. The plot of the ballet is based on Russian fairy tales in which it is told Prince Ivan Tsarevich stumbles upon and captures the mysterious firebird. From the music composed for the ballet, Stravinsky obtained a “Symphonic Suite” in 1911, in 1919 reorchestrating the music for a smaller orchestra and finally producing a new version in 1945. Colours and rituals of pagan Russia emerge especially in the infernal dance of the magician Kaščej, but the whole suite is covered by obsessive iterations, crude dissonances, strongly onomatopoeic references such as the tremolo of the strings describing the vaulting of the firebird’s wings, alternating with moments of lyrical effusion closer to traditional nineteenth-century Russian music.

Ludwig Van Beethoven

Symphony n. 4 in B flat major op. 60

Year of composition: 1806

First performance: Vienna, March 1807

Movements:

1. Adagio; allegro vivace

2. Adagio

3. Allegro vivace – Trio, un poco meno allegro

4. Allegro, ma non troppo

Written very rapidly in a particularly happy period for Beethoven, the Fourth Symphony represents a happy oasis among the frowning titans of the Third and Fifth. At the beginning of the Symphony, Beethoven seems to be mocking the listener surprising him with a humorous effect, while the second movement plays on a theme that is relaxed and songlike.The third movement is a Scherzo in rapid time, interrupted twice by the Trio.The main theme of the Scherzo is subdivided into a first part, with an irresistible rhythmic impulse, which contrasts with a second sinuous phrase in which the strings and wind instruments dialogue among themselves. The fourth movement is a work of pure sonorous amusement, truely joyful and dramatic throughout the whole composition.

ORCHESTRA OF THE TEATRO COMUNALE DI BOLOGNA

With its long-standing tradition, the Orchestra of the Teatro Comunale di Bologna has been led by Musical Directors like Sergiu Celibidache, Zoltán Peskó, Vladimir Delman, Riccardo Chailly, Daniele Gatti, Michele Mariotti. Some of the conductors who have worked with the ensemble include Gary Bertini, Myung-Whun Chung, James Conlon, Pinchas Steinberg, Valery Gergiev, Eliau Inbal, Vladimir Jurowskij, Daniel Oren, Peter Maag, Neville Marriner, Kurt Masur, Riccardo Muti, Mstislav Rostropovič, Esa Pekka Salonen, Georg Solti, Christian Thielemann, Charles Dutoit, Georges Prêtre. The Orchestra of the Teatro Comunale is often invited abroad (The Netherlands, Romania, Spain, France, and Switzerland) and has played in many prestigious festivals (Amsterdam 1987, Parma 1990, Wiesbaden 1994, Santander 2004 and 2008, Aix en Provence 2005, Savonlinna 2006, Macao 2013, Muscat 2015, Guanajuato in Mexico 2017, Paris 2018). A special connection  with Japan has brought to several tours, including the tour in June 2019 in Osaka, Tokyo, Yokohama, Fukuoka, with performances of Rigoletto directed by Alessio Pizzech, and of Il Barbiere di Siviglia directed by Federico Grazzini. 

Its numerous recordings include La Favorite conducted by Richard Bonynge; Oberto Conte di San Bonifacio conduted by Zoltán Peskó, Il Barbiere di Siviglia conducted by Giuseppe Patané, La Fille du Régiment conducted by Bruno Campanella, Le Maschere and La Bohème conducted by Gianluigi Gelmetti, La Scala di Seta conducted by Gabriele Ferro, Macbeth, Manon Lescaut, Rigoletto, La Cenerentola, Messa Solenne, and the video production of Vespri siciliani and Giovanna d’Arco and Werther conducted by Riccardo Chailly, Armide conducted by  Daniele Gatti, Simon Boccanegra conducted by Michele Mariotti.

The Orchestra, conducted by Michele Mariotti, has recorded a CD under the label Decca with sacred arias sung by Juan Diego Flórez, and an album under Sony with Romantic arias sung by Nino Machaidze. Under Deutsche Grammophon the Orchestra recorded Le Comte Ory with Flórez, and La Nuit de Mai – a selection or arias and songs by Leoncavallo – with Placido Domingo. Under the label PENTATONE it recently released a CD containing overtures by Rossini, to celebrate 150 years since the death of the composer.  

In March 2013 the artistic ensembles of the Teatro Comunale di Bologna, led by Michele Mariotti, opened the IV International Festival Mstislav Rostropovich in Moscow, where they performed Verdi’s Messa da Requiem. In October 2015, again with Michele Mariotti on the podium, they opened the Lingotto Music Festival at the Auditorium Giovanni Agnelli in Turin, where they performed Stabat Mater by Rossini, and his Overture and Ballet Music from Guillaume Tell. 

After working with the Rossini Opera Festival for nearly thirty years (from 1988 to 2016), the year 2017 brought new collaborations between the Teatro Comunale di Bologna and the Verdi Festival in Parma, where the Orchestra performed, among other productions, the Stiffelio directed by Graham Vick. Staged at the Teatro Farnese, the show was highly appreciated by audience and critics alike and was granted the Special Prize at the 37th edition of the “Franco Abbiati” Critics award. The Orchestra’s engagements with the Verdi Festival for the Fall of 2019 include Luisa Miller at the Chiesa di San Francesco del Prato in Parma, and Aida at the Teatro Verdi in Busseto. 

The Teatro Comunale’s 2018 production of La Bohème staged by Graham Vick received the Abbiati Award as best show.