ORCHESTRA BALEARIC ISLANDS (OSIB)

Sergio ALAPONT, guest conductor

Kristian BEZUIDENHOUT, piano

Obertura Egmont, op. 84
L. v. Beethoven (1770 – 1827)

Concert per a piano núm. 22 en mi bemoll major, K. 482
W.A Mozart (1756 1791)

I. Allegro
II. Andante
III. Allegro

    Pausa

    Simfonia núm. 8 en sol major, op. 88
    A. Dvorák (1841 – 1904)

    I. Allegro con brio
    II. Adagio
    III. Allegretto grazioso – Molto vivace
    IV. Allegro ma non troppo

    PROGRAM NOTES

    Mercè Pons (Composer and GACOMUS music comprehension cabinet director) 
    Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770- 1827) 
    Egmont Overture, op. 84 

    At the time when Spain ruled Flanders, Count Egmont (1522-1568) was a Flemish nobleman who nobly served the Spanish king. He later became more liberal and fell out with the Duke of Alba. He was executed in Brussels and remembered as a national hero, being the figurehead of Goethe’s drama Egmont in 1788. As an admirer of Goethe, Beethoven composed the stage music for a drama in five acts, first performed in Vienna in 1810.

    The score includes an opening (which we will hear tonight) and nine pieces (four intermissions, two lieder, two melodramas and a Victory Symphony).

    Beethoven’s Egmont shows us great, exciting and eloquent music, rarely performed in its entirety. 

    The opening, however, with its transcendent heroism (which contradicts the sometimes-indecisive character of the hero), is part of every symphonic ensemble’s repertoire. 

    This opening condenses the action on a dramatic and psychological level, concluding with motifs from the Symphony of Victory, which is how the drama ends. 

    The composition’s structure takes the form of an introduction, which is followed by a sonata ensemble and ends with a coda. Each of these parts has a different tempo and time signature. 

    The introduction Sostenuto ma non troppo, in 3/2-time signature, consists of two themes. The first represents the struggle against tyranny (the struggle of the Spanish Netherlands for emancipation in the 16th-century, under the impetus of Egmont). Then follows the second piece, which symbolises “the aspiration for freedom.” The sonata Allegro, in 3/4, also has two themes, the first symbolising “revolt” and the second the idea of “destiny.” The main theme is repeated in the re-exposition of this sonata format, and the theme of “destiny” is followed by an expectant pause and a very subtle retort. Freedom’s cause has failed, for the moment, but we reach the coda Allegro con brio, in 4/4, which is the brilliant victory speech (Egmont goes to the gallows without bowing to the judges’ arbitrariness). The flute changes to piccolo in the instrumentation for a brighter, more incisive effect. A victorious, triumphant finale, in which the whole orchestra participates, and the violins play in a very high-pitched tessitura which had never, until then, been used for orchestra, as it was considered “unplayable.” 

    Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) 

    Concerto for piano and orchestra in A minor, op. 54 

    Shortly after the First Symphony, Schumann composed a Fantasy in A minor for piano and orchestra for his beloved Clara at the beginning of 1841. This piece was to become the first movement of the Piano Concerto, completed in 1845 and dedicated to the pianist Ferdinand Hiller. It was first performed by Clara Schumann on the piano in Leipzig on 1 January 1846, with the dedicatee as conductor, ensuring the work’s success. 

    This concerto is a composition in which melody emerges with spontaneous splendour. It is one of the most beautiful and significant compositions emanating from Schumann’s genius. Far removed from the Beethovenian dramatism and virtuosity so prized at the time, the score has “something between a concerto, a symphony and a grand sonata,” according to Schumann himself. 

    The score is a sort of musical poem where the piano is in harmony with an open orchestra, never intrusive, and easily interacts with each instrumental group. This masterpiece retains both a pre-eminent place in the repertoire of concert pianists and the favour of the public, which is constantly won over by its gentleness and extreme lyricism.

    The first movement, Allegro affettuoso, has a very free structure, in which a variation theme prevails. The second movement, Intermezzo. Andantino grazioso is poetically rich, and here Schumann shows the special affection he always felt for chamber music since the soloist’s dialogue with the orchestra is more like a placid conversation between equals than a struggle which was the typical form in the romantic virtuosic concerto. We arrive without pause to the third movement, Allegro vivace, where the profusion of melodies (all of them extremely beautiful, and on more than one occasion not far removed from Chopin’s style) does not, curiously enough, leave the impression of a rhapsodic character, but everything in it appears as if by incontestable logic, the fruit more of its expression than of having to be subjected to a structure such as a sonata form. 

    Antonin DVOŘÁK (1841 – 1904) 

    Symphony No. 8 in G major, op. 88 

    This symphony’s idea of birdsong and the feeling of relaxation and happiness hint at the label “Dvořák’s Pastoral.” Here the composer’s desire to bring freshness to the symphonic format is highlighted.

    When Dvořák accepted an honorary doctorate of music from Cambridge University in 1892, he offered this work as his compulsory ‘exercise.’ However, it was not a new score, as Dvořák had conducted its first performance in Prague on 2 February 1890. 

    The symphony was composed between 26 August 1889 and 8 November of the same year, at Dvořák’s country house in Vysoká, near Prague. 

    The work represents the most characteristic Czech work by the composer, as it is inspired by folk songs and dances from his homeland. Otakar Šourek, the composer’s biographer, explains that Dvořák had “his own garden in Vysoká, which he loved ‘as divine art itself.’ It was here that he absorbed poetic impressions and moods, here that he withdrew from life and grieved over its inevitable decay, here that he indulged in philosophical reflections on the substance and meaning of the interrelationship between nature and life”.

    Symphony no. 8 is structured in a typical four movements. 

    At the beginning of the first movement, Allegro con brio, a sustained, sombre melody for the cellos, quickly gives way to a bold flute solo. Without ever subduing the dramatic element, Dvořák unleashes the poetic side of his nature throughout the movements of this score, from the rhetorical, often melancholic second movement, the Adagio, to the folk-flavoured, waltz-like Allegretto grazioso of the third movement, to the energetic theme with variations of the last movement, Allegro ma non troppo, leading to an exciting finale, where the brass and percussion come to the fore.

    ORCHESTRA BALEARIC ISLANDS (OSIB)

    The Orquestra Simfònica Illes Balears is considered one of the leading symphonies in Spain. It was created in 1988 under the institution called Fundació Pública de les Balears per a la Música, which formed a part of the Govern Balear (Balearic government), the Ajuntament de Palma (Palma’s local government) and the Consell de Mallorca (Mallorca council).

    Although the Balearic Islands’ symphonic history dates back to the ‘40s, the formation of the orchestra as we know it today is down to the maestro Luís Remartínez, who was its conductor and artistic director from 1988 to 1994. The maestros following him were: Philippe Bender (1994-1997 and 2005-2009), Salvador Brotons (1997-2000 and 2009-2013), Geo„rey Simon (2001-2002), Edmon Colomer (2002-2005), Josep Vicent (2013-2014) and Joji Hattori (2014-2018) as title co-director. The current director is maestro Pablo Mielgo.

    The orchestra performs its regular season symphonically (season ticket period in the Auditorium de Palma, symphonic concerts in Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera, season ticket period in the Auditorium de Manacor, exclusive shows in Mallorca), as well as lyrically (opera season of the Fundació Teatre Principal de Palma and Amics de l’Òpera de Maó). In its summer season, the OSIB carries out the ‘Estius Simfònics’ (Symphonic Summers) festival with the Castell de Bellver as its headquarters and collaborating with other festivals such as Pollença or Formentor Sunset Classics. In addition to its artistic schedule, there are extensive teaching efforts made through programmes such as, but not least, ‘Simfònica en família” and ‘Simfònica en Societat,” which brings music to groups facing social exclusion.

    One of our primary goals is to release the labour of Balearic composers. Prove of that is the fact that we hold Antoni Parera Fons as a composer in residence. Soon we will première a new work, Arxiduc, composed by him and written by Carme Riera, member of the Real Academia Española. 

    Over the last 25 years, the orchestra has accompanied internationally renowned soloists including Juan Diego Flórez, Frank Peter Zimmermann, Emmanuel Pahud, Khatia Buniatishvili, Giuliano Carmignola, Valentina Nafornita, Celso Albelo, Juan Manuel Cañizares, Kiri Te Kanawa, Teresa Berganza, Joaquín Achúcarro, Piotr Anderszewski, María Bayo, Simón Orfila, Katia and Marielle Labèque and the young Francisco Fullana.

    The OSIB has performed outside of the Balearic Islands on numerous occasions, with their recent trip to Madrid’s Teatro Real together with the tenor Juan Diego Flórez, their journey to Zurich for a concert with the mezzo Kate Lindsey, the show in Paris’ Radio Hall France with Khayia Buniatishvili and the concert in the UN’s Human Rights Room, in Geneva, as particular highlights.

    The OSIB has a label that allows us to distribute our recordings across more than 40 music platforms, such as Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music and Google Play Music. Today, there are four albums: “Revolució,” with Symphony No.7 by Beethoven and The Rite of Spring, by Tchaikovsky; Symphony No. 2 by G. Mahler, and works by Majorcan composers in “Mallorca Suite” by Baltasar Samper; and “Foners,” by Antoni Parera Fons. Besides enjoying these recordings, through them, the OSIB displays the Balearic Islands’ talent and international scope, and its institutions prove their firm commitment to support culture as an essential element for the future of the region. 

    In 2020, the OSIB has received the Gold Medal, the most prestigious award from the Balearic Government.

    Sergio ALAPONT, conductor

    He is currently one of the Spanish conductors with the greatest international projection, having been awarded Best Orchestra Conductor in Italy 2016 by GBOPERA Awards and winner of the II Concurso de Directores Ciudad de Granada. This season he is the principal conductor of the Orquestra Clássica do Centro in Coimbra.

    He has conducted prestigious national and international orchestras such as the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestre National d’Ile de France in Paris, the Norwegian National Opera, Scottish Opera, RAI in Turin, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Teatro di San Carlo in Naples, I Pomeriggi Musicali in Milan, Teatro Massimo Bellini in Catania, Janacek Philharmonic Ostrava, Radiotelevisión Española (ORTVE), Comunidad Valenciana (Palau de les Arts), Ciudad de Granada, Sinfónica de Galicia, Real Filharmonía de Galicia, Filarmónica de Gran Canaria, Simfònica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya, Sinfónica de Tenerife, Sinfónica de Castilla y León, Sinfónica de Navarra and Sinfónica del Principado de Asturias, among many others. He has also conducted at prestigious festivals and concert halls such as Shanghai Opera Week, Wexford Opera Festival, Quincena Musical Donostiarra, Euro Arts – Leipzig, Mahler Festival – Dobbiaco, Ravello Festival, MITO Festival, or Großer Saal at Vienna’s Musikverein.

    He has recorded for the British label Signum Classics and Universal.

    Recent successes include his Danish debut with the Aalborg Symfonieorkester, RTÉ Concert Orchestra in Dublin, the Ulster Orchestra in Belfast, Orchestre National du Bretagne, Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie, Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Orchestra Nazionale della RAI, Irish National Opera in Dublin, Opera du Rhin in Strasbourg, his US debut at the Minnesota Opera, Norwegian National Opera, Opera Lombardia, Opera de Oviedo, Fondazione Arena di Verona, Gran Teatre del Liceu de Barcelona, Teatro Real de Madrid or Teatro Massimo Bellini di Catania.

    Some of his upcoming appearances include the Orquesta Sinfónica de Radio Televisión Española, Teatro Massimo Bellini di Catania Orchestra, Carmina Burana at the Teatro Regio di Parma, Don Giovanni at the Teatro Comunale di Sassari and a subsequent symphonic concert with his orchestra conducting works by Brahms and Beethoven, his return to the Irish National Opera conducting La Bohème, Teatro Real de Madrid, Orquesta de Valencia, his return to the Ulster Orchestra of Belfast and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra in Dublin and his Canadian debut at La Maison Symphonique de Montreal with the Orchestre Symphonique de Longueuil.

    Kristian BEZUIDENHOUT, piano

    Kristian Bezuidenhout is one of today’s most notable and exciting keyboard artists, equally at home on the fortepiano, the harpsichord and the modern piano.

    He is the Artistic Director of the Freiburger Barockorchester and Principal Guest Director with The English Concert. Bezuidenhout is a regular guest of the world’s leading ensembles, including Les Arts Florissants, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Orchestre des Chaps Elysées, Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest, Chicago Symphony Orchestra and The Leipzig Gewandhausorchestern, and has guest-directed (from the keyboard) the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, the Tafelmusik, the Collegium Vocale, the Juilliard 415, the Kammerakademie Potsdam and the Dunedin Consort.

    He has performed with celebrated artists including John Eliot Gardiner, Philippe Herreweghe, Frans Brüggen, Trevor Pinnock, Giovanni Antonini, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Isabelle Faust, Alina Ibragimova, Rachel Podger, Carolyn Sampson, Anne Sofie von Otter, Mark Padmore and Matthias Goerne.

    Kristian’s rich and award-winning discography on Harmonia Mundi includes the complete keyboard music of Mozart (Diapason d´Or de L´année, Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik and Caecilia Prize), Mozart Violin Sonatas with Petra Müllejans, Mendelssohn and Mozart Piano Concertos with the Freiburger Barockorchester (ECHO Klassik), Beethoven & Mozart Lieder, and Schumann Dichterliebe with Mark Padmore (Edison Award).

    In 2013, he was nominated as Gramophone Magazine’s Artist of the Year and was awarded the Wiener Flötenuhr by the Mozartgemeinde Wien in 2019 for his Mozart´s keyboard music recordings.

    Recent releases include Winterreisse with Mark Padmore, Bach sonatas for violin and harpsichord with Isabelle Faust, a recording of Haydn piano sonatas and Beethoven’s piano concertos with the Freiburger Barockorchester and Pablo Herás-Casado.

    Organitza i patrocina

    Amb el suport de

    Col·laboren

    Mitjà de comunicació oficial

    Membre de l’Associació espanyola de Festivals de Música Clàssica

    Mitja de comunicació col·laborador

    Oficina del Festival de Pollença

    Convent de Sant Domingo

    C/. de Pere J. Cànaves Salas, s/n

    [email protected]

    T.(+34) 971 899 323

    Horari oficina

    De dimarts a dissabte de 10.00 a 13.30h

    Dijous de 16.30 a 19.00

    Per a reservar i comprar entrades el mateix dia del concert, de 20.30 a 22.00h