The evolution of the Polish composer Grażyna Bacewicz relates the 20th century: from neoclassicism to the influence of serialism, via realism imposed under the yoke of the USSR... Composed for a chamber orchestra, Pensées nocturnes (1961) is characterised by its incisive form and extreme attention to detail. As its title suggests, the piece plunges us into an unstable and wavering universe, where obsessive motifs seem to compose a great shadow theatre.
Rachmaninov's iconic Op. 43 Rhapsody (1934) features a cycle of variations in homage to the virtuoso Paganini's Caprice for Solo Violin No. 24: a musical voyage of exploration that transports us deep into reverie.
Begun in a Venice hotel room, Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4 (1877) should originally have been entitled The Two Lions, in homage to the lion in St. Mark's Square. This symphony is set under the sign of destiny, that force that - according to Tchaikovsky himself - forbids us to enjoy happiness, jealously ensuring that our bliss and peacefulness never go unadulterated, hanging over our heads like the sword of Damocles and inexorably pouring a slow poison into our souls. The music tonight will surely belie the composer's own words and allow us to dream of a few additional lives.
Lorraine National Opera Orchestra
Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini, Op. 43
Symphony No. 4 in F minor, Op. 36