Česká centra, Czech Centres

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Apr 6, 2011 7:30 PM

Orchestra of St. Luke's


The Program

Orchestra of St. Luke's
Iván Fischer, Conductor
Nikolaj Znaider, Violin

PROKOFIEV  Symphony No. 1, "Classical"
TCHAIKOVSKY  Violin Concerto
DVOŘÁK  Symphony No. 7 in D Minor, Op. 70

TICKETS and more info

Znaider is a performer whose virtuosity never gets in the way of his passion. As he puts it, “I feel I have something to say, and I can say it best with a violin in my hand.” On this concert, Znaider brings his individual voice to Tchaikovsky’s grandly Romantic concerto, sharing the stage with Iván Fischer, who makes his debut with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s.

Program Notes

During the last decades of the 19th century, spilling over into the 20th, musicians on the periphery of Europe began to declare their cultural independence from the overwhelming domination of German-speaking countries over the symphony, the string quartet, and other abstract instrumental forms; of Italy over opera; and of France over ballet and its own type of opera. As part of a growing desire to make a cultural mark on the world (even though political independence was, in most cases, decades away), composers in these regions explicitly sought to give their music the color, the sound of home.

This program offers three views of Slavic music after nationalistic awakening—two of them from the Romantic era imbued with music inspired by the sounds of folk song and dance, and the third by a modernist aesthetic that also paid homage to the past.

Prokofiev wrote seven recognized symphonies, but the one that is his official “No. 1” has always been generally identified as the “Classical” Symphony, owing to his attempt to recreate a symphony of the Classical era as if Haydn were writing it himself more than a century after his last such work. The composer’s sassy surprises and musical twists pick up the spirit of Haydn, but in a quite different musical milieu.

Tchaikovsky had the world’s worst luck when offering his concertos to soloists he particularly admired. The Violin Concerto was rejected by the performer for whom he intended it, and when it was premiered in Vienna (instead of Russia), the leading critic lambasted it for what he perceived as the “stink” of a peasant festival. Despite these early handicaps, it has long since become one of the half-dozen most popular violin concertos ever written.

Determined to match his friend Johannes Brahms in serious intent (on the heels of the German’s Third Symphony), Dvořák wrote a darkly dramatic Seventh Symphony filled with dark Slavic themes, compellingly light-footed traditional dances, superbly crafted architecture, and a satisfying balance of moods in what many consider his finest symphony.



Carnegie Hall, Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage, 57th Street and Seventh Avenue, NYC


Apr 6, 2011 7:30 PM


Organized by Carnegie Hall

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