Under the baton of the distinguished English conductor Mark Wigglesworth, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra performs – with the Tokyo-born virtuoso violinist Karen Gomyo – theViolin Concerto in D major, Op.35, by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, and Dmitri Shostakovich's Symphony No.10 in E minor, Op.93.
Dimitri Shostakovich shifted in and out of favor with the authorities of Stalin's Soviet Union for much of his career. Compositions that ran afoul of the government's wishes were followed by contrite apologies through new works of nationalist pride, often praised by Stalin himself. After a life of being censored and scrutinized, many believe his dissent of Stalin and the Soviet government are covertly woven throughout his music. His Tenth Symphony was written shortly after Stalin's death. At times dark and brooding, at others blazing with relentless speed, Shostakovich described the work as a portrait of the dictator's years in power.
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Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)
♪ Violin Concerto in D major, Op.35 (1878)
i. Allegro moderato
ii. Canzonetta. Andante
iii. Finale. Allegro vivacissimo
Karen Gomyo, violin
Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975)
♪ Symphony No.10 in E minor, Op.93 (1953)
iv. Andante – Allegro
Detroit Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Mark Wigglesworth
Live from Orchestra Hall, Max M. Fisher Music Center, Detroit
Saturday, December 2, 2017, 08:00 PM EST (UTC-5) / Sunday, December 3, 2017, 03:00 AM EET (UTC+2)
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Born in Tokyo in 1982 and having grown up in Montréal and New York, violinist Karen Gomyo has recently made Berlin her home.
A musician of the highest calibre, the Chicago Tribune praised her as "...a first-rate artist of real musical command, vitality, brilliance and intensity...".
In Europe, Karen has most recently performed with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Bamberg Symphony, Danish National Symphony, Orchestre Symphonique de Radio France, Residentie Orkest, Stuttgart Radio Symphony, Vienna Chamber Orchestra and WDR Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester in Cologne.
Already strongly established in North America, Karen regularly performs with orchestras such as the Cleveland Orchestra, Dallas Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Houston Symphony, National Arts Centre Orchestra Ottawa (NACO), National Symphony in Washington, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra and San Francisco Symphony among others.
Highlights of the 2017-2018 season will include a recital at the Sydney Opera House, a tour with Edo de Waart and the New Zealand Symphony, followed by performances with WASO Perth and the Tasmanian Symphony. Karen will make her debut with the Kristiansand Symfoniorkester, and will also return to St Louis Symphony, NACO, and the symphony orchestras of Milwaukee, Montreal, Cincinnati, Detroit and Indianapolis among others. Karen also performs in chamber music at the Louisiana Museum in Denmark, as part of her annual visit on their series.
Strongly committed to contemporary works, Karen performed the North American premiere of Matthias Pintscher's Concerto No.2 "Mar'eh" with the composer conducting the National Symphony Orchestra, as well as Peteris Vasks' Vox Amoris with the Lapland Chamber Orchestra conducted by John Storgårds, and has collaborated in chamber music compositions with Jörg Widmann, Olli Mustonen, and Sofia Gubaidulina.
Karen has had the privilege of working with such conductors as Sir Andrew Davis, Jaap van Zweden, Leonard Slatkin, Neeme Järvi, David Robertson, David Zinman, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Louis Langrée, Karina Canellakis, Thomas Dausgaard, James Gaffigan, Pinchas Zukerman, Mirga Gražinyte-Tyla, Hannu Lintu, Vasily Petrenko, Jakub Hruša, Cristian Macaleru, Thomas Søndergård and Mark Wigglesworth.
In recital and chamber music, Karen has performed in festivals throughout the USA and Europe. She recently toured with the Australian Chamber Orchestra and fellow guest artist, the mezzo-soprano Susan Graham. Her chamber music collaborators have included the late Heinrich Schiff, Christian Poltéra, Alisa Weilerstein, Leif Ove Andsnes, Olli Mustonen, Kathryn Stott, Christian Ihle Hadland, Antoine Tamestit, Isabelle Van Keulen, and Lawrence Power. In 2018 she appears at the Seattle Chamber Festival and the Australian Festival of Chamber Music in Townsville, Australia.
Karen is deeply interested in the Nuevo Tango music of Astor Piazzolla, and performs with Piazzolla's longtime pianist and tango legend Pablo Ziegler and his partners Hector del Curto (bandoneon), Claudio Ragazzi (electric guitar) and Pedro Giraudo (double bass). She also performs regularly with the Finnish guitarist Ismo Eskelinen, with whom she has appeared at the Dresden and Mainz Festivals in Germany, and in recitals in Helsinki and New York.
NHK Japan recently produced a documentary film produced by NHK Japan about Antonio Stradivarius called "The Mysteries of the Supreme Violin", in which Karen is violinist, host, and narrator, was broadcast worldwide on NHK WORLD.
Karen plays on the "Aurora, ex-Foulis" Stradivarius violin of 1703 that was bought for her exclusive use by a private sponsor.
Source: karengomyo.com (July 2017)
Born in Sussex, England, in 1964, Mark Wigglesworth studied music at Manchester University and conducting at the Royal Academy of Music in London. A few weeks after leaving the Academy, he won the Kondrashin International Conducting Competition in the Netherlands, and since then has worked with many of the world's leading orchestras and opera companies.
In April 2014, the English National Opera announced that Mr. Wigglesworth would be the company's next Music Director, beginning in September 2015.
In 1992 he became Associate Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and further appointments included Principal Guest Conductor of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Music Director of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Highlights of his time with BBC NOW included several visits to the BBC Proms, a performance of Mahler's Tenth Symphony at the prestigious Amsterdam Mahler Festival in 1995, and a six-part television series for the BBC entitled Everything To Play For.
In addition to working with most of the UK's orchestras, Mark Wigglesworth has guest conducted many of Europe's finest ensembles, including the Berlin Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, La Scala Filarmonica, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia Orchestra, Stockholm Philharmonic, Gothenburg Symphony, Oslo Philharmonic, Finnish Radio Symphony, Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra, Camerata Salzburg and the Budapest Festival Orchestra.
Equally busy in North America, Mr. Wigglesworth has worked with the Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago and Boston symphonies, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the San Francisco, Montreal, Detroit, Toronto, Vancouver and Cincinnati symphonies. He is a regular guest at the Minnesota Orchestra and has an on-going relationship with the New World Symphony.
Mark Wigglesworth began his operatic career as Music Director of Opera Factory, London. Since then he has worked regularly at Glyndebourne (Peter Grimes, La Bohème, Le nozze di Figaro); Welsh National Opera (Elektra, The Rake's Progress, Tristan und Isolde, Così fan tutte); and English National Opera (Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Così fan tutte, Falstaff, Katya Kabanova, Parsifal). He has conducted at the Netherlands Opera (Peter Grimes); La Monnaie in Brussels (Mitridate, Wozzeck, Pelléas et Mélisande); the Sydney Opera House (Peter Grimes); New York's Metropolitan Opera (Le nozze di Figaro); and the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg).
In the recording studio, Mr. Wigglesworth's recordings have centered around a project with BIS Records to record all the symphonies of Shostakovich, a cycle which has received critical acclaim throughout the world. Other recordings include live performances of Mahler's Sixth and Tenth Symphonies issued by the Melbourne Symphony on the MSO Live label, Peter Grimes from the Glyndebourne Festival, Don Giovanni from the Sydney Opera House, a disc of English music with the Sydney Symphony, and most recently the two Brahms Piano Concertos with Stephen Hough and the Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra.
Internationally, recent and upcoming performance highlights include returns to Covent Garden (Kurt Weill's Mahagonny), a new production of Britten's Owen Wingrave for the Aldeburgh Festival, appearances with the Tokyo Symphony, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Sydney and Melbourne symphony orchestras, as well as debuts with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, Royal Flemish Philharmonic and Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo.
Source: cmartists.com (June 2014)
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto in D major, Op.35
Tchaikovsky composed the Violin Concerto in D major in 1878. At Clarens, near Geneva, following both his mistake of a marriage and his suicide attempt, Tchaikovsky completed both Onegin and the Fourth Symphony early in 1878. After a round trip to Moscow in February for the Symphony's premiere, he was visited at Clarens by the violinist Yosif Kotek. Tchaikovsky, in fondness for Kotek, sketched out a violin concerto in just 11 days and had finished scoring it two weeks later, including a new slow movement in place of one that both Kotek and Tchaikovsky's younger brother, Modest, considered to be weak.
Pyotr Ilyich dedicated the new concerto to Leopold Auer, the fabled Hungarian émigré who would teach two generations of Russian virtuosi. However, just as Nikolai Rubinstein had vilified the B flat minor Piano Concerto four years earlier, Auer declared this new one "unplayable" (though he too recanted, and became one of the work's champions). It was, therefore, a Viennese audience that heard the first performance with Adolf Brodsky and conductor Hans Richter on December 4, 1881. It was an insufficiently rehearsed and poorly accompanied performance, about which Eduard Hanslick wrote, "It brings to us the revolting thought that there may be music that ‘stinks in the ear’". Yet he also wrote in same review that "the Concerto has proportion, is musical, and is not without genius".
In addition to its structural soundness, the concerto fairly teems with melodies, in such abundance that the orchestra's gorgeous opening tune never returns! Thereafter the soloist gets first crack at the rest of them, beginning with the "very moderate" principal theme. The second one is marked molto espressivo, after which the main theme returns, before the development section that ends in a showy solo cadenza, followed by the reprise and coda.
The andante Canzonetta ("little song") in 3/4 time with ABA form features a G minor main theme (additionally marked molto espressivo) and a contrastingly quicker, Chopinesque second theme in E flat major. Without pause the next movement lifts off like an SST from the tarmac. It is a Trepak in rondo form, with two extroverted themes of folkloric character, capped by an extended coda that concludes the piece dervishly. No Russian composer before or since Tchaikovsky has ended a concerto with greater finesse or panache, not even Rachmaninov (who learned wherefrom to take his cue early on, with Tchaikovsky's blessing).
Source: Roger Dettmer (allmusic.com)
Dmitri Shostakovich: Symphony No.10 in E minor, Op.93
Symphony No.10 was Shostakovich's first symphony in eight years, and the gap between this and the 1945 Ninth owed nothing to a lack of inspiration in the genre. In 1948, Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Khachaturian, and other noted Soviet composers were censured for writing what party censors called "formalistic" music, a code word for dissonance and the expression of negative emotions or cynicism. Of course, examined against such vague and, therefore, potentially all-inclusive standards, virtually any composition could be vulnerable to attack, and many of Shostakovich's were singled out. After January 1948, most Soviet composers were simply unsure of what was safe to write. Shostakovich turned to writing patriotic bombast like the choral work Song of the Forests (1949), the cantata The Sun Shines on Our Motherland (1952), as well as vapid film scores like that for the 1950 release The Fall of Berlin.
On March 5, 1953, Stalin died. The stringent policies in the arts loosened somewhat in the aftermath of the dictator's passing, and Shostakovich seized the opportunity to write a large symphony, not least because he could satirize Stalin in it. In fact, the second movement is said to be a depiction of the Soviet tyrant. The music in this Allegro is angry and intense, but also quite Russian. Certainly, it can be heard as austere and hostile, sinister and threatening, thereby painting an effective and credible portrait of Stalin, but it might also express anxiety and fear, emotions hardly new to Shostakovich. Thus, the "Stalin" interpretation of this movement, while quite possibly valid, is not fully convincing, much less verifiable.
The Symphony No.10 opens up with a Moderato movement that is nearly as long as the ensuing three movements combined. The mood is dark and brooding and the structure is not unlike that of the Eighth's opening section: there is an introductory theme, followed by two "main" themes. Here, the second of those is faster than its counterpart in the Eighth, and while the atmosphere is intense in the exposition and development section, there is a relaxation in intensity in the recapitulation and coda, where the Eighth remains mired in darkness.
As suggested above, the second movement is a biting, sinister piece. It is followed by an Allegretto of decidedly Russian character, whose mood brightens somewhat, especially in the middle section. This movement is notable because it is the first time that Shostakovich used his personal motto, D-E flat-C-B, which, via German transliteration, represents his initials, DSCH. This motif would appear in numerous subsequent works by the composer, like the Violin Concerto No.1 (1947-1948; rev. 1955) and his popular String Quartet No.8 (1961).
The finale starts off with an Andante that seems mired in a slow-motion haze. Suddenly the mood turns joyous and playful, lively and colorful. An austere middle section recalls the opening gloom, but the cheerful music returns and the Symphony ends in a blaze of ecstatic joy. The Symphony No.10 was premiered in Leningrad on December 17, 1953, under the baton of Yevgeny Mravinsky. It has become, with the Symphony No.5, Shostakovich's most often performed and recorded symphony.
Source: Robert Cummings (allmusic.com)
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