PRESS RELEASE Brno, March 19, 2021
Filharmonie Brno has arranged another live stream for Thursday 15 April, this time comprising a pair of symphonies from two great music composers of the 19th and 20th/21st centuries: Johannes Brahms and Philip Glass. Both composers’ second symphonies will be played, Glass’s in its Czech premiere. “This combination is in no way a superficial attempt at exploiting the identical numbers in order that the programme looks pretty on the poster. Bringing together these two pieces has a deeper dramaturgical intent. Both composers did not decide to write their first symphonies until they were a mature age – Brahms at forty-three years old, and Glass at fifty-five years old – such that by their second symphonies they had fully let go of other influences: Brahms of Beethoven, Glass of Bowie; and managed to create their own very distinctive works,” says Filharmonie Brno Programme Director, Vítězslav Mikeš.
The orchestra is coming together at such a large scale for the first time in almost six weeks. “All, of course, while observing all the regulations. Despite these increasingly stringent rules, our desire to play wins out. On the other hand, we don’t think it makes total sense to stream at any cost and as such we only choose those projects which are really worthwhile: which we consider fundamental components of our entire season. We do still have to omit some of these, however, such as those involving choral singing,” says Filharmonie Brno Managing Director, Marie Kučerová.
The concert, which will be broadcast live from Besední dům, begins at 8 pm. During the break, listeners can look forward to Chief Conductor Dennis Russell Davies’s interview with Philip Glass.
“Philip and I have worked together for some forty years, beginning with my years as GMD at the Stuttgart State Opera with wonderful new productions of his early operas Satyagraha and Akhnaten, and continuing in New York where over time I conducted premiers of his First Violin Concerto, the ‘Low Symphony’, and other orchestral and chamber works. By the time the Second Symphony came around, we had become close friends, both involved fathers, with a closely similar outlook to our music and life in general.“ says Davies. Philip Glass dedicated his Symphony No. 2 to the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra and Dennis Russell Davies, who premiered the work on 15 October 1994. Glass has composed 12 symphonies to date.
The Second Symphony marked an important new phase in Philip’s creative life as he fully embraced the challenge implied by the symphonic tradition, but this time using entirely his own rhythmic and melodic material. “I conducted the Second Symphony several times in the 90s but hardly at all since then, and I am really looking forward to the opportunity to take on this challenge again, especially with the Filharmonie Brno.” added Davies.
The Second Symphony in D major, which starts the stream, was written about a year after its predecessor; it was premiered on 30 December 1877 in Vienna under the baton of Hans Richter; the following January the composer conducted it at Gewandhaus Leipzig and a month later in Amsterdam and the Hague.
“Brahms’s oeuvre – especially the four symphonies, which sum up all of his essential inclinations – perfectly embodied the understanding of music as an autonomous, i.e. self-sufficient, art, and as such constituted a return to the idea of absolute music.” Informed Mikeš.
The broadcast begins on Thursday 15 April at 8 pm. Listeners can follow it on Filharmonie Brno’s Facebook page, on its YouTube channel, or using this link
Media contact Kateřina Konečná, Filharmonie Brno Head of PR and Marketing
+420 775 426 040 firstname.lastname@example.org