Fabio Luisi returns to the Concertgebouworkest to conduct Verdi’s brilliant ballet muziek from the opera Don Carlos, his 8 Romances in Luciano Berio’s orchestration and a beautiful work by the late-romantic Dutch composer Alphons Diepenbrock.
The Concertgebouworkest is thrilled to welcome Fabio Luisi back at the helm after more than six years. He connects Italy and the Netherlands in a very special programme combining the Dutch composer Alphons Diepenbrock and the brilliant ballet music Giuseppi Verdi wrote for Don Carlos as well as the latter’s 8 Romances.
A ballet in every opera’s third act, as was the custom in Paris, was sacrilege to Italians. Grudgingly at first, Verdi gave in to the obligation to add ballet music to his operas in order to have them performed at the Opéra de Paris. But Verdi always delivered - the results were astonishing. Don Carlos’s ballet contains irresistible solos for violin and cello. In 8 Romances, Verdi’s later compatriot Luciano Berio saw studies for his operas, including Don Carlos. He orchestrated the song cycle respectfully, but with a contemporary ear.
This season we commemorate the fact that Dutch composer Alfons Diepenbrock (1862-1921) died a century ago. His Lydische nacht (Lydian Night, originally with vocalists) is performed in a purely instrumental arrangement by Eduard Reeser. Diepenbrock was not only the Netherlands’ most successfulk late-romantic composer, he was also a friend of both Gustav Mahler and former chief-conductor of the Concertgebouworkest Willem Mengelberg. In Diepenbrock’s late work, of which Lydische nacht is a highlight, echoes of Mahler and Debussy may be heard in what is otherwise a very distinctive personal style.