20th Century, but not Avant Garde As a composer, Bernstein is often stamped as a popular musician. John Corigliano's violin concerto owes its existence to a film score, and Ernst von Dohnányi is often described as a late disciple of Johannes Brahms. The works being played, therefore, are not even slightly part of the 'mainstream' current of modern music. But does that really mean they have little to reveal about what was to come? Or could it be that they simply use different means than what we are accustomed to from their contemporaries to say new things.
These works are special in a different way, pointing to the future by looking back. Although Bernstein's Candide was inspired by Voltaire's 18th-century novel of the same title, its music is clearly American and of the 20th century. The question posed by Candide spans the centuries and continents: could the best of all possible worlds truly exist? The violin concerto 'The Red Violin' is the kind of rare piece that results when a film score inspires the creation of a classical concerto, as the mu...sic in the work draws from the music to the film of the same title. The piece is one of the most spectacular examples of how film music can serve as the inspiration for a composition written for the concert hall. Ernst von Dohnányi wrote his Symphony No. 2 in 1944, during the period when the Hungarian composer fled his homeland, which was under German occupation and bracing for the arrival of the approaching Red Army. And while the work shows kinship in many respects to the great Romantics, and even to the music of Bach in places, it nevertheless conveys a unique message. Glittering alongside the tragedy are the composer's optimism, sense of humour and faith in the future.
Presented by: Pannon Philharmonic
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