Under the baton of the Swedish clarinetist and conductor Martin Fröst, the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra performs Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Overture to The Marriage of Figaro, K.492, and Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No.4 in B flat major, Op.60. The concert was recorded at Gothenburg Concert Hall on January 27, 2018.
Le Nozze di Figaro, ossia la folle giornata (The Marriage of Figaro, or The Day of Madness), K.492, is a comic opera in four acts composed in 1786 by Mozart, with an Italian libretto written by Lorenzo Da Ponte based on a stage comedy by Pierre Beaumarchais, La folle journée, ou le Mariage de Figaro. The opera was the first of three collaborations between Mozart and Da Ponte; their later collaborations were Don Giovanni and Così fan tutte. The Overture to the Marriage of Figaro was written just a couple of hours before the opera's premiere. Unusually, it does not quote any music from the opera itself.
Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No.4 in B flat major, Op.60, is a creation that found no justice, considered to be an intermediary symphony between Symphony No.3 and Symphony No.5. The story of its appearance is pretty uncertain because no drafts remained. We only know it was written while Beethoven was working on Symphony No.5. Nevertheless, it can be considered a study on the problematic of classical symphony.
Part I (Adagio – Allegro vivace) starts with a slow introduction which contains all the traces of the entire symphonic discourse, coming as a true synthesis of the symphony. The two themes are successively shown in the form of sonatas with great concision, the movement ending in a Coda which is nothing but a culmination and not a conclusion as we might have expected from his previous works.
Part II (Adagio) its main theme is of great musicality through the prime violins and it is followed by another theme with resonances from the previous symphony.
Part III (Allegro vivace) is full of life, structured on Beethoven's scherzo principle, only much more improved. Thematic elements can be easily recognized from the introduction of the first part.
Part IV (Allegro ma non troppo) in the form of a sonata with a Coda in large dimensions, it expresses the same vital force and joy of life.
The freshness and spontaneity of the themes, the lack of tragic motives, the perfection of the form triggered the enthusiasm of his contemporaries. German composer Robert Schumann was comparing it to "a supple Greek girl, standing in between two giants from the West", while Felix Mendelssohn chose it to be performed at his first concert at Gewandhaus in Leipzig.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
♪ Overture to The Marriage of Figaro, K.492 (1786)
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
♪ Symphony No.4 in B flat major, Op.60 (1806)
i. Adagio – Allegro vivace
iii. Allegro vivace
iv. Allegro ma non troppo
Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Martin Fröst
Lighting design by Linus Fellbom
Gothenburg Concert Hall, January 27, 2018
Martin Fröst (b. 1970) is a Swedish clarinetist and conductor. As a youth, Fröst began musical studies on violin at age 5. At age 8, he started to learn the clarinet. He studied with Hans Deinzer in Germany and Sölve Kingstedt and Kjell-Inge Stevensson in Stockholm.
Fröst's work in contemporary music includes collaborations with Anders Hillborg, Krzysztof Penderecki, Kalevi Aho, Rolf Martinsson, Bent Sørensen, Victoria Borisova-Ollas, Karin Rehnqvist and Sven-David Sandström.
Fröst was artistic leader of the Vinterfest music festival for 10 seasons, concluding his tenure in 2015. He became joint artistic director of the Stavanger International Chamber Music Festival in 2010, and served in that until 2015. He has been a conductor-in-association with the Norrköpings Symfoniorkester (Norrkoping Symphony Orchestra). In May 2017, the Swedish Chamber Orchestra announced the appointment of Fröst as its next principal conductor, effective with the 2019-2020 season, with an initial contract of 3 seasons.
In the USA, in October 2014, Fröst first appeared with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra (SPCO). Based on this concert, in November 2014, the SPCO named Fröst one of its Artistic Partners, effective with the 2015-2016 season, with an initial contract of 4 years. He was to have made his first appearance in the post in November 2015, but was unable to perform due to Meniere's Disease. The effects of the ailment delayed Fröst's appearances as an SPCO artistic partner until February 2017.
Fröst and his family live in Stockholm. He has recorded commercially for such labels as BIS Records and Sony Classical. In May 2014, he received the Léonie Sonning Music Prize, the first clarinetist so honoured.
In May 2017, it was announced that Martin Fröst will be Chief Conductor of the Swedish Chamber Orchestra from the 2019-2020 season and he will return to the Orchestra in autumn 2017. Known for artistic collaborations worldwide, this season he continues as Artistic Partner with both The Saint Paul Chamber and Royal Stockholm Philharmonic orchestras, at which he launchs a new project Retrotopia including a new commission by Jesper Nordin. This project follows in the footsteps of his critically acclaimed project Genesis, which he also performs this season with the Gothenburg Symphony. In 2017-2018 Fröst will also be Artist in Residence at L'Auditiori, Barcelona appearing with the Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona I Nacional de Catalunya and performing a number of chamber concerts. These positions follow his success in recent seasons as Artist-in-Residence at the Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, Gothenburg Symphony and London's Wigmore Hall.
In autumn 2017, Fröst is joined by Janine Jansen, Lucas Debargue and Torleif Thedéen to release Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time, his second recording for Sony Classics. Together this season, the Quartet will give performances of the work worldwide, including at New York's Carnegie Hall, as well as in Barcelona, Toronto and Quebec City. Fröst's first recording for the label, Roots, received huge critical acclaim and in recognition he received the 2016 ECHO Klassik Instrumentalist of the Year Award for clarinet. Chamber dates this season also include a return to Schubertiade and London's Wigmore Hall to perform with Quatuor Ébène. Fröst regularly performs with leading international artists including Sol Gabetta, Yuja Wang, Leif Ove Andsnes, Roland Pöntinen, Maxim Rysanov and Antoine Tamestit.
Highlights of his last season included debuts with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (Osmo Vänskä) and New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (Edo de Waart). He also returned to the Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival (Paavo Järvi), NHK Symphony Orchestra (David Zinman) and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, with whom he also toured Europe. Future tour partners include the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the NDR Radiophilharmonie.
Genesis: a concert performance of Martin Fröst – Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra (HD 1080p)
Olivier Messiaen: Quatuor pour la fin du temps – Martin Fröst, Lucas Debargue, Janine Jansen, Torleif Thedéen (Download 96kHz/24bit & 44.1kHz/16bit)
Dollhouse: a concert performance of Martin Fröst – Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra
Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra – All the posts