Thu, 5. 12. 2019, 7.00 p.m.
A3 FRENCH IMPRESSIONS
TALKING ABOUT MUSIC
6.15 p.m., Small Auditorium
KUČERA: The Plurality of Inhabited Worlds, symphonic picture
RAVEL: Piano Concerto for the Left Hand, in D
HONEGGER: Pacific 231, H.53
DEBUSSY: La Mer, L.109
IVO KAHÁNEK, piano
BOHUSLAV MARTINŮ PHILHARMONIC
TOMÁŠ BRAUNER, conductor
The third concert in our subscription series A is a French programme with a pinch of Czech spice. The introductory piece premieres a brand new work from the pen of the composer, pianist and conductor Jan Kučera, who comes from the West Bohemian town of Klatovy. The work was commissioned by and is dedicated to our Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic here in Zlín.
Following that is Maurice Ravel's Piano Concerto for the left hand, a piece which holds its own compelling place in the treasury of world music, commissioned by the Austrian concert pianist Paul Wittgenstein, who lost his right arm in the First World War. Despite this handicap Wittgenstein zealously refused to abandon his hitherto stellar professional artistic career and asked leading composers to write piano works for one hand. Our soloist is Ivo Kahánek, an outright winner of the Prague Spring competition.
Unlike Wittgenstein, Arthur Honegger had the free choice of hands for which to compose his "mouvement symphonique" called Pacific 231. He was a great train enthusiast, and this work is a musical depiction of a ride on the eponymous steam locomotive type which, in its day, crisscrossed almost the whole of Europe.
If Honegger's fascination was for trains, Claude Debussy had, from an early age, a soft spot for the sea. It comes as no surprise, then, that a number of his musical compositions are inspired by waves and the mighty crash of surf, and that is what we find in his imposing three-part sketch La Mer, which rounds off tonight's concert.