Eva conducts Ravel

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Date Location Price
19 Jan 2023 » 19:30 » Thursday Eldborg | Harpa 2.900 - 8.700 kr.
  • Program

    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Symphony no. 35, “Haffner”
    Maurice Ravel Piano Concerto in G major
    Haukur Tómasson Jörð mistur himinn
    Maurice Ravel Daphnis et Chloé, suite no. 2

  • Conductor

    Eva Ollikainen

  • Soloist

    Claire Huangci

Due to unforseen circumstances the Austrian percussionist Martin Grubinger has had to withdraw from the coming concert and will therefore be unable to perform Daníel Bjarnason's percussion concerto as advertized. Instead, the American pianist Claire Huangci will be performing Maurice Ravel's sublime and powerful Piano Concerto in G Major, his last completed composition. Audiences will get to enjoy the premiere of a different Icelandic work: Earth mist sky (Jörð mistur himinn) by Haukur Tómasson. The piece is in dialogue with a painting by Georg Guðni Hauksson and creates a dreamlike soundscape. Eva Ollikainen, principal conductor of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, conducts the performance.

American pianist Claire Huangci is known for her refined and artistic performances, in addition to her technical prowess, in works spanning from the baroque period to the present. Huangci emerged as the top prize winner in the 2018 Géza Anda Piano Compeition and has appeared with many of the most renowned orchestras in Europe in some of the world's greatest concert halls. Her subtlety and explosive energy are both on display in Ravel's Piano Concerto in G Major. This irresistably bewitching and magnificent piece features elements from exhuberant Basque folk songs, flourishes from the American jazz tradition, and an Eastern-inspired refinement.

In 1782 Mozart was asked to write a piece to commomorate the knighting of the nobleman Sigmund Haffner. Mozart was a busy man at this time; he was conducting his own opera, The Abduction from the Seraglio, working on other compositions, and was about to get married. He gave in, however, and composed a serenade in six movements. When Mozart was asked soon after to conduct a concert of his own works he was missing a symphony. He seized upon the idea of shortening the Haffner-dedicated serenade by two movements and increasing the size of the orchestra, and thus Symphony No. 35, the "Haffner" Symphony, was born. Despite the rushed composition process inspiration was not wanting and the symphony was a smashing success. The Emperor of Austria himself was present at the premiere and cheered with such enthusiasm as to draw the attention of onlookers.

It is 30 years since the Iceland Symphony Orchestra first performed a work by Haukur Tómasson (b. 1960), who has been at the forefront of Icelandic composition for several decades. Earth mist sky, the piece being here premiered, draws inspiration from a painting by Georg Guðni Hauksson (1961-2011). The work is dreamily beautiful and many-layered, as the composer relates the artist's paintings to "nature, blending, inner movement, stillness."

Maurice Ravel's ballet Daphnis and Chloé was comissioned by Sergei Diaghilev, the acclaimed director of the Ballets Russes, and was premiered in 1912. The ballet music, which Ravel called "a choreographed symphony in three parts," is approximately an hour in performance and is his largest-scale orchestral work. Few composers have outdone Ravel when it comes to drawing forth the various colors of the orchestra and in the refined web of sound he spins in this piece, characters emerge as disparate as sensual wood nymphs and frenzied pirates. For the ease of concert performance, Ravel stitched together two orchestral suites that are more commonly performed than the full ballet and this concert features Suite No. 2.