Event Type :
Mogens Dahl Chamberchoir
Monday 5 October 2020 at 20:00 Mogens Dahl Concert Hall PROGRAMME: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 – 1791): Sonata No 4 in E flat major, K. 282 Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714 – 1788): Rondo
Monday 5 October 2020 at 20:00
Mogens Dahl Concert Hall
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 – 1791): Sonata No 4 in E flat major, K. 282
Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714 – 1788): Rondo in C minor, Wq 59/4
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 – 1827): Sonata No 3 in C major, Opus 2 No 3
Gabriel Faurè (1845 – 1924): Nocturnes 1, 2 and 3, Opus 33
Maurice Ravel (1875 – 1937): Gaspard de la nuit
This is Mozart at his most welcoming meeting us in the fourth of five piano sonatas composed in 1775. This sonata is different from the others because of its slow introductory movement, amongst others. Two elegant minuettes ending in a charming allegro lets Mozart play with the octave interval.
The virtuoso Carl Philip Emanuel – the son of the ‘Bach senior’ – was called ‘Berliner-Bach’ and ‘Hamburger-Bach’ because of his prominent role at the court of Frederik the Great and subsequently as a precentor in Hamburg, where he replaced Telemann.
He was particularly interested in the keyboard instrument and, with the short rondo in C minor, demonstrates a fantastic tour de force of changing moods and unpredictable thematic variations.
It is said that Arthur Rubinstein used the opening of Beethoven’s third piano sonata to test the grand piano before performing. Both the very first trill in parallel thirds and the extremely difficult passage with tremolos in a sixteenth figure could break the fingers of many a skilled pianist. The virtuoso four-movement sonata is dedicated to Haydn.
Fauré was a great admirer of Chopin and composed his famous nocturnes within the familiar setting of Romantic piano music. Nevertheless, these rather dark pieces of music are recognised as some of the most important works of the young Fauré. It takes a great pianistic strength to bring to life Fauré’s piano music which, with repeated listening, opens up as extremely passionate and original music with subtle syncopations and advanced harmonic shifts.
Ravel’s piano suite is inspired by three poems by Aloysius Bertrand. We traverse an amazing – and dangerous – universe populated by enticing water nymphs, death bells for a hung man with spiders crawling on him and, finally, the devil himself crawling in and out of one’s consciousness.
The work is definitely notorious for its extreme difficulty. It is magnificent and deeply fascinating music where one wonders: How is it humanly possible for one musician to realise such an orchestral work on just one set of keys?
The pianist who brings to life the grand piano programme of the evening has been called the ’emperor of the keys’ and an artist with ‘almost superhuman technical ability’ by the New York Times.
Marc-André Hamelin visits us for the second time and we can promise you a world-class experience when the Canadian sits down at our grand piano.
The Canadian pianist’s concerts and recordings have called for accolades all over the world – amongst others, he has received 11 Grammy Award nominations.
His career started in Montreal and, later on, Philadelphia, although
the list of tours visiting famous festivals and scenes has since covered the whole world. This has led to a significant number of awards. Marc-André Hamelin won the Carnegie Hall competition in 1985, was inducted into Gramophones’ Hall of Fame in 2015 and has been awarded with the lifetime award of the German music critics.
Marc-André Hamelin was born in Montreal and currently resides in Boston, USA.
Halloween Concert with the Mogens Dahl Chamber Choir, Toke Møldrup and Jakob Lorentzen Sunday 1 November at 20:00 Holmen’s Church, Copenhagen PROGRAMME: S. Bach (1685 – 1750): Jesu, meine Freude BWV 227 Sven-David Sandström
Halloween Concert with the Mogens Dahl Chamber Choir, Toke Møldrup and Jakob Lorentzen
Sunday 1 November at 20:00
Holmen’s Church, Copenhagen
S. Bach (1685 – 1750): Jesu, meine Freude BWV 227
Sven-David Sandström (1942 – 2019): Drei Rilke Gesänge (2017)
S. Bach: Cello Suite
Arvo Pärt (f. 1935): Berliner Messe
Mogens Dahl Chamber Choir
Toke Møldrup, cello
Jakob Lorentzen, organ
Mogens Dahl, Conductor
One of Bach’s vast and most fascinating motets sets the theme of this Halloween concert: A hope despite the finality of life. ‘Jesu, Meine Freunde’ by Johann Franck personifies this hope put in Jesus and Bach brilliantly weaves Johann Kruger’s choral melody into a work in which the six verses of the psalm are illuminated by words from the Epistle of St Paul to the Romans. The climax is the five-part double fugue of the sixth movement in which Paul assures us that we humans are more than flesh and blood.
Thus, continuing the concert with a work by the late Sven-David Sandström – the longstanding composer in residence of the Mogens Dahl Chamber Choir – is deeply meaningful. Man’s encounter with death is thematised by his wonderful music for Rilke’s powerful poetry.
In the first poem, ‘Herbsttag’, the coming of autumn appears as a time of resolution – a time when the fruits of life will appear just as they are while lonely man “will restlessly travel back and forth, amongst the driving leaves of the avenues”.
In the second short poem, ‘Schlußstück’, it is death which is great – it cries in us ‘in the middle of life’, which is a recurring motif in literature: In a poem by Tomas Tranströmer, it is, thus, also ‘in the middle of life’ that death comes to measure up man, just like in Dante’s ‘The Divine Comedy’ it is ‘in the midst of the walk of life’ that the narrator finds himself in the dark forests with no way ahead.
In the last of the three Rilke poems, a ray of hope shines in the reconciliation between ‘night and sun’. Although love’s longing is ‘the pale of night’, Rilke ends his poem with a smile and white flowers.
The Berliner Messe, or Berlin Mass, was commissioned by Deutscher Katholikentag, a festival which is held every other year. In 1990, the festival was held in Berlin. Of course, it had been planned for several years but, the preceding winter, the hated wall dividing the city had unexpectedly fallen. Beyond the religious object of the Berliner Messe, the work has become a strong symbol of the overcoming of division and boundaries in this world and, thus, a beacon of hope in more sense than one.
In connection with a composition, the term ‘mass’ usually signifies a postponement of the five ordinarium parts, the Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus and Agnus Dei, usually included in the celebration of the Roman Catholic Mass. However, but Pärt’s mass stands out: In 1990, the festival took place during Pentecost which is why he chose to supplement with three texts that belong exclusively to Pentecost.
Tuesday 10 November 2020 at 20:00 Mogens Dahl Concert Hall PROGRAMME: Joseph Haydn (1732 – 1809): String Quartet in C major, Opus 20 No 2 Johannes Brahms (1833 – 1897): String Quartet No 2
Tuesday 10 November 2020 at 20:00
Mogens Dahl Concert Hall
Joseph Haydn (1732 – 1809): String Quartet in C major, Opus 20 No 2
Johannes Brahms (1833 – 1897): String Quartet No 2 in A minor, Opus 51 No 2
Franz Schubert (1797 – 1828): String Quartet No 15 in G major, D. 887
Haydn is – in more than one sense of the word – a father figure in music history. Both Beethoven and Mozart were, on a personal level, deeply inspired by this giant in the music life of Vienna (and, thus, of the entire western world). Moreover, in a wider circle, Haydn’s nicknames have included the ‘Father of the Symphony’ and the ‘Father of the String Quartet’.
Opus 20 comprises six quartets and was composed in 1772. They already contain several of the elements that defined the genre over the next 200 years: The equal importance of the four instruments, the dynamics of the sonata movement centred on the main and side themes, the surprising use of volume (forte/piano), creative breaks from expectations of symmetry in the structure of phrases, and much more.
100 years later, Brahms struggled with the prestigious genre and had several false starts before publishing the two quartets of Opus 51. (Brahms himself referred to Haydn’s six quartets from 1772 as an almost unattainable example, and Brahms was to discard approximately 20 quartets before he was satisfied!)
Despite Brahms’ concerns, he fully succeeded in incorporating his characteristics into his first string quartets. The A minor quartet resonates with warm and powerful strings, dancing rhythms and lyrical melodies.
Schubert throws his listener headlong into a series of shifts between major and minor. An atmospheric ambiguity that continues throughout the monumental work and is accentuated at the last movement when, every few seconds, you feel warm smiles being replaced by outbursts of anger. Other ideas also leave their mark throughout the work, with a punctured rhythm being one of the most striking.
The quartet is one of Schubert’s very last works – in his short life, the composer here had reached an epic climax that has remained as a major work of the genre.
Wednesday 25 November 2020 at 20:00 Mogens Dahl Concert Hall PROGRAMME: Franz Schubert (1797 – 1828): Winterreise
Wednesday 25 November 2020 at 20:00
Mogens Dahl Concert Hall
Franz Schubert (1797 – 1828): Winterreise
There are so few major passages in ‘Winterreise’ that one’s ears pick up when they appear. The first time a modulation to major occurs is unsurprisingly when we are introduced to the girl who ‘spoke of love’ in ‘Gute Nacht’. But even more markedly: The entire fourth stanza of this first song is in major; here, when the wanderer leaves the girl with an engraved ‘good night’ on the door. As if the final goodbye is a redemption.
During Schubert’s legendary song cycle, it becomes increasingly clear this it is not a trivial tale of a young man in love who has been let down by a girl. It is the entire human existence that is at the core of the despair and longing of the wanderer – the eternal stranger.
Wilhelm Müller’s poems depict an inescapable journey towards death, but Schubert clads the frozen winter landscape, where tears freeze to ice, in a music that paradoxically contains extremely vivid aesthetics.
The piano breathes life into the branches of the linden tree, letting it evoke memories of shady summer days in a ghostly manner. And, in a flash, the snow is melted away by tears, allowing the water to flow vividly through the landscape – right down to the town and the house of the beloved. But alas: In the next song, ‘Auf dem Flusse’, the water freezes over again. In ‘Frühlingstraum’, the cock crows dangerously every time the dream of spring becomes too vivid, but the song fades out in an unanswered question: When will I hold my beloved in my arms?
The basic dilemma is expressed in ‘Erstarrung’: There is an image of the beloved in the frozen heart, but if the heart melts, the image will also melt away. In other words, during the last part of the journey towards winter, there is no going back. The post horn sounds in vain and hope dies with the last leaf falling to the ground. However, both are portrayed with vivid musical empathy in which even the tears falling at the graveside of hope is nuanced in the piano’s last shift from minor to major.
Empty piano fifths and a freezing, unresolved conclusion leave us scurrying in the cold: Does the creepy organ-grinder in the last song forebode the meaninglessness of death? Will hope live through the winter?
JOHAN REUTER, baritone
Johan Reuter is one of Denmark’s great international artists. The excellent bass baritone regularly performs at theatres and festivals such as the Royal Opera House in London, the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the Wagner Festival in Bayreuth, the Opera de Bastille in Paris, the Wiener Staatsoper, the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich and the Salzburger Festspiele.
His great stylistic span means that he is also a regular guest at concert halls such as Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Berliner Philharmoniker in Berlin, Royal Albert Hall in London, and Musikverein in Vienna. Johan Reuter has completed countless CD and DVD recordings and he has twice won the Reumert Prize as singer of the year.
Johan Reuter trained at the Royal Danish Academy of Music and at the Royal Opera Academy in Copenhagen. From 1996 to 2019, he was a regular part of the Royal Theatre’s solo ensemble. Today, he is still affiliated as an Associate artist, while his engagements at the Gran Teatre de Liceu in Barcelona, the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich and the Metropolitan in New York have gained momentum.
JAN PHILIP SCHULZE, piano
Jan Philip Schulze got off to a quick start on his international career as an award winner at a string of competitions in Italy, Spain and South Africa.
As a lieder accompanist, he has regularly performed concerts with Juliane Banse, Annette Dasch, Rachel Harnisch, Dietrich Henschel, Jonas Kaufmann and Violeta Urmana. He regularly performs in the Berlin Philharmonic, the London Wigmore Hall, Salle Pleyel in Paris, Auditorio Nacional in Madrid, in Tokyo, at La Scala in Milan as well as at the festivals in Lucerne, Salzburg, Edinburgh, Munich and Schwarzenberg.
Jan Philip Schulze has recorded all of Hans Werner Henze’s works for piano and premiered music by several contemporary artists.
Jan Philip Schulze trained at the Musikhochschule in Munich and at the Tschaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow. Since 2004, he has been professor of “Liedgestaltung” at the Music Conservatory in Hanover.
Mogens Dahl Concert Hall is a small cultural powerhouse located on Islands Brygge in Copenhagen, hosting concerts and other activities on a international level. It is also a venue where a growing part of Denmark's leading companies and organizations are organizing and hosting their meetings and conferences, events and product launches.
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