Matthias Pintscher is leading the Concertgebouworkest in Bartók’s exciting Miraculous Mandarin and in two premieres. The new movement Pintscher has added to his own cycle Shirim is being given its Dutch premiere. The programme also features a world premiere by the Belgian composer Annelies Van Parys.
The stage version of Bartók’s Miraculous Mandarin was banned in Hungary even before a note of it had been performed in Budapest. The story of the young prostitute and the mandarin who seems immune to the murders of her pimps failed to make it past the censors. Bartók then composed a concert version in which the offending story is safely consigned to the listener’s imagination.
Always in search of unprecedented timbres, Annelies Van Parys enjoys taking risks in her compositions. That makes the world premiere of her work commissioned by the Concertgebouworkest, a homage to her former teacher Luc Brewaeys, all the more exciting. In Shirim, Pintscher was inspired by what he considers to be ‘the most beautiful love poems ever written’: the Song of Songs. He added a new movement with choir to this cycle for baritone and orchestra in 2019, which is now being given its Dutch premiere.