«It’s as if Britten’s music, with such a mysterious incipit, was able to bring me to a different planet, and make me part of an unknown language to me, of which I can’t do without». This is how young Norwegian violin player Vilde Frang describes Benjamin Britten’s Violin Concerto in D minor Op. 15, presented with the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della Rai on Thursday 26 November at 8.30 pm at the Auditorium Rai “A. Toscanini” in Turin, and broadcasted live on Radio3.
After being chosen by Mariss Jansons for her debut with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra when she was only twelve years old, Vilde Frang has since worked with such orchestras as the London Philharmonic and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, and has been invited to various Festivals, like the ones in Salzburg, Verbier, and Lucerne. Knows as a technically demanding work for the soloist, Britten’s Violin Concerto was written in 1939 while the British composer was in Canada. It was premiered the following year in New York, with Antonio Brosa playing the violin, and John Barbirolli conducting the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. Vilde Frang has recently recorded the concert, the release of which is scheduled at the beginning of 2016.
Principal Conductor of the Rai Orchestra, Juraj Valčuha will be on the podium, and during the second part of the concert will be conducting Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy’s Symphony No. 3 in A minor Op. 56, also known as the Scottish Symphony, a tribute by the composer to his journey to Edinburg, a trip he made with two friends in 1829. Mendelssohn was so fascinated by the historical places connected to Mary Stuart that he wrote that he had «found the beginning of the Scottish Symphony» among the ruins of the chapel where the queen was crowned. The work had to wait ten years before being performed in London in 1842, when it was dedicated to Queen Victoria.
The concert will have its second performance on Friday 27 November at 8.30 pm.
Igor Stravinsky’s music, namely the Histoire du Soldat – a ballet in two parts on a libretto by Charles-Fernand Ramuz – is to close the festival “Le Domeniche dell’Auditorium” (Sundays at the Auditorium), a series of Sunday events with chamber ensembles from the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della Rai, in collaboration with Lions Clubs International District 108 I a 1.
On stage at Rai’s Auditorium “A. Toscanini” in Turin, on Sunday 29 November at 10.30am, will be the Camerata Strumentale “EptaFoné”, made up of Constantin Beschieru, violin; Vincenzo Venneri, double bass; Salvatore Passalacqua, clarinet; Cristian Crevena, bassoon; Marco Braito, trumpet; Devid Ceste, trombone; and Carmelo Gullotto, percussions.
«I conceived the first idea of Histoire du Soldat in the Spring of 1917 – wrote Stravinsky himself – but I could not pursue it as I was busy writing Les Noces and composing a symphonic poem from Le Rossignol. The thought of writing a dramatic work for a travelling theatre had come to my mind several times since the beginning of the First World War. The kind of work I was thinking of was supposed to engage a simple and modest ensemble, as to allow for a series of shows touring small Swiss towns, while at the same time being just as simple and clear in its plot so that its meaning could be easily understood».
Performed in Losanne in 1918, during a tough moment both in Stravinsky’s life - who was exiled in Switzerland - and in the life of librettist Charles-Fernand Ramus - himself a refugee in the Swiss village of Treytorrens - Histoire du Soldat is a tale with no happy ending, telling the story of a soldier dealing with the devil who takes possession of his violin and of his life.
The concert will be introduced and presented by the musicians on stage who will share facts about the program and will describe the instruments involved, highlighting their multiple traits and characteristics.
Concerts seats are sold at 5 and 3 euro.