PRSO & Petr Popelka
Rudolfinum, 9 October 2021 at 7:30 p.m.
Bohuslav Martinů: Concerto for Violin, Piano and Orchestra H 342
Wolfgang Rihm: Ernster Gesang
Johannes Brahms: Symphony No. 3 in F major, Op. 90
Petr Popelka – conductor
Josef Špaček – violin
Miroslav Sekera – piano
Petr Popelka, Chief Conductor of the Norwegian Radio Orchestra (KORK) in Oslo, Principal Guest Conductor of the Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava and a guest of many prestigious orchestras and opera houses around the world, has selected a combination of Czech and German music for his second performance with PRSO. The evening will open with the Concerto for Violin, Piano and Orchestra that Bohuslav Martinů wrote in New York in 1953. The piece bears the typical features of its author's later work, combining restless expanses with simple intimate melodies and arching from its dramatic opening to the catharsis of its conclusion.
Popelka has invited some excellent Czech musicians to perform – the Czech Philharmonic's youngest ever concertmaster Josef Špaček and the highly sought-after pianist Miroslav Sekera. The defining factor of the second part of the evening will be a contemporary author's relationship to the work of one of the greats of musical history. The living classic of German music Wolfgang Rihm wrote Ernster Gesang (Serious Song) in the 1990s at the behest of conductor Wolfgang Sawallisch as a composition intended specifically to be played before the music of Johannes Brahms.
At the time, Rihm sought inspiration in Brahms's later songs and piano pieces, the harmonies of which enchanted him with their "sharpness and at the same time dark sweetness". He derived the title from the Four Serious Songs that Brahms wrote for bass and piano a year before his death in Vienna. Rihm's introverted, lyrical work prepares the atmosphere for one of Brahms's top compositions. He wrote the Symphony No. 3 in F major in the summer of 1883 in the spa town of Wiesbaden and by December of the same year it was seeing its world premiere in the hands of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.
Ticket prices: 900 CZK | 750 CZK | 600 CZK | 400 CZK | 250 CZK | 150 CZK
The organizer reserves the right to change the program and performers.