14JUN '24fr, 19:00

Season closing concert | BRANFORD MARSALIS

Symphonic concert
Symphony Hall
  • Aaron Copland - Fanfare for a common man
  • Aaron Copland - Quiet City
  • John Williams - Koncert na saksofon altowy i orkiestrę Escapades
  • Richard Strauss - Symphonia domestica, Op. 53
We invite you to a great concert crowning the jubilee artistic season, in which we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Szczecin Philharmonic Orchestra and the 70th anniversary of the institution itself. A world-class star is a must during such a concert. On this special evening you will hear one of the greatest saxophonists of all time. Branford Marsalis, winner of three Grammy awards, will perform with our Orchestra in the golden hall of the Szczecin Philharmonic. But this concert will be particularly important for another reason as well. Maestro Rune Bergmann, will stand in front of the Szczecin Philharmonic Orchestra for the last time as its artistic director and chief conductor. He has held these positions for the last eight years (since 2016).

What's in the program?
The concert will begin with the Fanfare For The Common Man by Aaron Copland (1900 – 1990) – widely considered the forerunner and father of modern American classical music. The composer took the title from the words of Henry Wallace, vice president of the USA during the third term of Franklin D. Roosevelt. He called the 20th century the century of the common man. Right after its premiere in 1943, Copland's work was hailed by Leonard Bernstein as the greatest hit in the world.

We will stay with Copland's music for a while, as the second piece performed this evening will be his famous Quiet City, praised by musicologists, alongside Barber's Adagio for Strings and Ives’ The Unanswered Question, as one of the most meditative pieces in the history of American music. The composer himself called the Quiet Citymusical fantasy. The piece was created for a theater play and told the story of a trumpeter imagining the thoughts that arise at night in the minds of the city's inhabitants. He would then take the trumpet in his hand and play, trying to express himself and move the listeners. Quiet City, however, quickly broke away from the theater, becoming an independent concert piece that is often and eagerly included in concert programs to this day.​

It is impossible to imagine American music without one of its most recognizable creators. John Williams (born 1932), known to a wide range of listeners, especially thanks to the film music he wrote all his life. And he created music for the biggest cinema hits, such as: E.T, Star Wars, Schindler's List and, a little closer to our times, Harry Potter. He received as many as 52 Oscar nominations in his career (he won a total of 5 statuettes), including for the music from the movie Catch Me If You Can (2002) directed by Steven Spielberg with Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks. The famous Escapades for alto saxophone and orchestra come from this star packed movie. The piece, designed as a multi-part concerto, quickly became free from the bounds of the big screen and became an independent concert piece. Williams wrote in the introduction to the score: The film takes place in the nostalgic 1960s, so I thought I could evoke the atmosphere of those times by writing something like an impressionistic memoir about the progressive jazz movement that was so popular at that time – he explained – and the alto saxophone seemed the perfect tool to express this, resulting in the three movements of this suite. It's hard to imagine a better performer of this extraordinary piece than Branford Marsalis. He is an excellent saxophone virtuoso, active as both a jazz and classical musician. He regularly performs with the best orchestras in the United States, such as the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Chicago Philharmonic and the North Carolina Symphony, and others around the world. He often plays music by such classical composers as: Debussy, Glazunov, Ibert, Mahler, Milhaud and Vaughan Williams.

Our concert will end with the Symphonia domestica op. 53 by Richard Strauss. The title of the piece is special because literally translated it means home symphony. It is a work about the composer's family life. The idea was bold, but not entirely new. Other composers had already explored similar topics before Strauss. In his 4th Symphony, Schumann talked about his courtship of his future wife – Clara, and Tchaikovsky, in the famous Symphony Pathetique, created a story about his great passion for his nephew – Bob Dawidow. However, Strauss did not fall into romanticism and idealization of a love relationship, as his predecessors did. Strauss was a realist. Here you can hear the scream of the composer's son – Franz, a fight with his wife – Pauline and a scene of passion between the spouses. The French writer Romain Rolland hailed Strauss's symphony as the boldest challenge to the common sense of good taste ever made and Mahler completely condemned the program of the piece. Nevertheless, Symphonia domestica has permanently entered the regular repertoire of orchestras around the world and won the hearts of listeners. Perhaps because, although there is plenty of drama, it is an optimistic work. After all, the Strausses were happily married for 55 years.

Excerpt from Escapades for alto saxophone and orchestra by John Williams performed by Branford Marsalis and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by Susanna Malkki

Excerpt from Richard Strauss's Symphonia domestica performed by the Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Alan Gilbert

Patronem Sezonu Jubileuszowego w Filharmonii w Szczecinie jest STRABAG.
Patron Sezonu Jubileuszowego

Season closing concert | BRANFORD MARSALIS
14-06-2024 19:00
Symphony HallFilharmonia im. Mieczysława Karłowicza w Szczecinie
ul. Małopolska 48
70-515 Szczecin

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