“Terribly fantastical and unexpected” is how Szymanowski described his Violin Concerto No. 1 of 1916. Its inspiration was Tadeusz Miciwski’s poem ‘May Night’ which opens, “Donkeys in crowns settle on the grass, fireflies kiss the wild rose, while death flickers over the pond and plays a wanton song”. Musically, its three seamlessly running, thematically fluid movements are full of high-register dolcissimo violin passages, oriental scales, and luminous orchestral climaxes, reflecting his enthusiasm for Debussy, Ravel and antique eastern culture. Brahms’s symphonic six movement Serenade No. 1 of 1860 has its roots in the woodwind-strong serenades written by Mozart for garden festivities at the Salzburg court. Equally distinct are echoes of Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony No. 6, heard right from the first movement’s perky opening to folk drones.
with the generous support of
Madame Aline Foriel-Destezet