As the 19th century drew to a close and the 20th began, Ottorino Respighi occupied a special place: not only a composer, but also a conductor and musicologist, he was a true one-man band of Italian music which he helped to reinvent. He was fascinated by the music of the previous centuries, which naturally influenced his aesthetics. This is clear from these Ancient Airs and Dances, Suite No. 1 of which is freely transcribed from original lute pieces dating from the Renaissance.
The first of Shostakovich's six concertos, composed in 1933 in Leningrad by the composer himself, is in keeping with the aesthetic line of his 1920s compositions, as shown by the grotesque humour that permeates the first and last movements. This concerto is, in Shostakovich's words, a reflection of a heroic era full of "joie de vivre".
Schubert's Third Symphony, composed in the prolific year 1815, during which the composer wrote over one hundred lieder including the famous Erlkönig, was first performed far later in London in 1881. No doubt his symphonies reveal a less intimate Schubert than his lieder. This luminous symphony nevertheless expresses that Schubertian chiaroscuro so characteristic of a composer seeking a subtle balance between classicism and romanticism.
Lorraine National Opera Orchestra
Ancient Airs and Dances, Suite N°1
Piano Concerto N°1
Symphony No. 3
THIS SHOW HAS BEEN RECORDED BY RADIO FRANCE AND BROADCASTED ON FEBRUARY 18TH AT 8pm, ON FRANCE MUSIQUE.