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About the program

Alexander Porfiryevich Borodin: Polovetsian Dances

Polovtsian Dances is part of Borodin’s incomplete opera Prince Igor, it is in the finale of the third act. Borodin started to compose this piece on his own libretto in 1869, however, after his death it had to be finished and edited by Rimsky-Korsakow and Glazunov. The suite as a stand-alone orchestra piece is an extremely popular composition in concert venues.

Alexander Glazunov: Violin concerto

Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony no.7

After the completion of Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony four years passed before he started work on another one. The Seventh, written in 1811-12, had to wait until December 8th 1813 for its premiere, when Mälzel (the inventor of the metronome) arranged a charity concert “for Austrian and Bavarian soldiers wounded at the battle of Hanau”. Considering the aim of the evening, it is not surprising that the new symphony was eclipsed by another Beethoven work, composed for the occasion, the Triumph of Wellington. But the repeat performance on December 12th was a great success: the second movement had to be encored. If the audience received it well, their contemporaries were bemused. They felt that Beethoven had overturned musical forms, and spoke of shapelessness and chaos. In the now amusing opinion of the eminent composer Carl Maria von Weber: “With the Seventh, Beethoven has finally reached the asylum.” Wagner said the symphony was “the apotheosis of dance – and if we accept that the essence of dance is primarily rhythm, the title is fitting: the rhythm of the Seventh truly etches itself on the listener’s consciousness, and the characteristic rhythm of each of the movements gives them distinct personalities.


Program

Alexander Porfiryevich Borodin: Polovetsian Dances
Alexander Glazunov: Violin concerto
Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony no.7

conductor

Iván Fischer

Soloists

Renauld Capucon, violin