Under the direction of Gustavo Gimeno, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra is performing an exciting and colourful programme featuring works by Schubert, Stravinsky and Bartók. Artist in residence Tabea Zimmermann is performing as soloist in Georges Lentz’s serene Monh.
Gustavo Gimeno opens the concert with Schubert’s Overture to Rosamunde. The play for which it was originally written has been forgotten, but Schubert’s overture would grow to become a favourite with audiences. Roughly 100 years later, two high points in twentieth-century ballet music emerged. In 1920, Stravinsky caused a stir with his ballet Pulcinella, one of the first works in which he traded in expressiveness and modernism for a nimble style harking back to the eighteenth century – in this case, to the dancing, graceful music of Pergolesi. Bartók based his ballet pantomime The Wooden Prince on a fairy tale by Béla Balász. The work is rarely performed because of the massive ensemble it requires, but the suites from the work give all the sections of the orchestra a chance to shine.
Violist Tabea Zimmermann is serving as the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra’s artist in residence in the 2019–20 season. Georges Lentz composed for her his work Monh, scored for viola, electronics and orchestra. In Monh, Lentz, originally from Luxembourg and now a resident of Australia, translates his love of the landscapes of Australia into music which is both serene and apocalyptic. Monh (an Aboriginal word meaning stars) also makes reference to the star-studded skies of the Australian outback, the influence of which the composer identifies in the dot technique often used in Aboriginal art.