Sunday, 12 March 2017
11.00 a.m., Symphony Concert in the
Weill & Gershwin
The Best of the Best!
Kurt Weill: Chansons des Quais/Songs of the Waterfront: A Cycle for soprano, male quartet and chamber orchestra from "Marie Galante" Music by Kurt Weill, Lyrics by Jacques Deval, Conceived by Kim H. Kowalke (2017) © by the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music
George Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue, orchestral version
Kurt Weill: Symphony No. 2
Conductor: HK Gruber
Vocals: Ute Gfrerer
Piano: Ueli Wiget
Male voice quartet
Ensemble Modern Orchestra
A new version of Marie Galante commissioned by the Kurt Weill Foundation will be performed for the first time this evening, and subsequently recorded for CD release. Marie Galante is the story of a young girl abducted in France and taken to Panama where she is forced to live in appalling conditions. At the end of her short life she is transported back to Bordeaux in a coffin. The songs in this stage work were so "authentically French" that they quickly became smash hits. "J'attends un navire" ("I'm waiting for a ship") provided a shimmer of hope for many French people during the second world war. In the role of Marie, Ute Gfrerer will sing the wonderful song "Youkali".
Long before his successful opera Porgy and Bess, Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue had made him an international star practically overnight. For the composer, the Rhapsody was a "sort of musical kaleidoscope of America, of our vast melting pot, of our unduplicated national pep, our metropolitan madness." It is hardly surprising, therefore, that the work is infused with swing and jazz, while the classical traditions of good old Europe are never far away.
The evening closes with Weill's last great work: the Symphony No. 2. Full of dark and tormented passages, it is rarely heard. The audience can look forward to a fascinating programme performed by brilliant artists.
Due to the generous support of the German Federal Cultural Foundation, the ranks of the Ensemble Modern Orchestra will include students and graduates of the International Ensemble Modern Academy (IEMA)