Wednesday 22 January, 2020

Paris and Istanbul: Double international première of the Basque National Orchestra in 2020

Paris and Istanbul: Double international première of the Basque National Orchestra in 2020

After the tour in December 2018 around Austria and Germany, the Basque National Orchestra continues to work on its international projection and does so now with performances in two cities it had not visited to date: on 25 January at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris and on 9 March at the Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall in Istanbul.

As it did with its previous tour with Mahler's Symphony No. 4, the Basque National Orchestra will show its credentials with two big works by universal composers, which is a good reflection of the abilities of a musical ensemble and requires being in good shape and well-prepared. The Orchestra will perform in Paris for the first time with The Song of the Earth (Das Lied von der Erde) by Gustav Mahler. Likewise, this piece will be performed these days for the first time by the Orchestra at the Season concerts and will then be taken to the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées. The other great work the Orchestra will make its début with in Istanbul is the Symphony No. 9 by Anton Bruckner, which the Orchestra has also presented these days on Basque stages.

 

 

Paris:

 

In recent years, Robert Treviño has been associated with Gustav Mahler and is receiving worldwide recognition as a prominent Mahlerian. For his débuts with orchestras such as the London Symphony, the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich or the Münchner Philharmoniker he chose Mahler's music. He did the same for his first official tour with the Basque National Orchestra in December 2018 to the Austrian cities of Linz and Bregenz and to the German city of Munich, and Mahler will again be the main feature at the first performance of the Basque National Orchestra at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris on 25 January. The Song of the Earth, composed during one of the most painful periods of the composer’s life, brings together six songs that both celebrate the joys of life and reflect on loss and death. Two world-class Mahlerian interpreters will give voice to his verses:  Mezzosoprano Jennifer Johnston, who has sung the solo parts of his symphonies with orchestras such as the Cleveland Orchestra or the Vienna Philharmonic; and Corby Welch, a Heldentenor in high demand in German theatres to perform operas by Wagner.

Along with Mahler, the Orchestra will open the concert with Maurice Ravel, in a reference to his Basque/French origins, and will do so with two pieces brimming with timbral imagination and orchestral colours: Rapsodie espagnole and La Valse.

 

Théâtre des Champs-Élysées:

 

The Théâtre des Champs-Élysées is one of the most elegant stages in Paris. Since its creation in 1913 it has been a reference in the field of classical music and the epicentre of Parisian music. The Théâtre has distinguished itself by the presence, for more than one hundred years, of the most prestigious names in music, opera and dance, and has been the home of the Orchestre de Paris.

As part of the extensive agenda of this theatre, the Basque National Orchestra will be presented within the series corresponding to “Guest orchestras” and will share the bill with big, internationally-renowned symphony orchestras. This stage has recently seen performances by symphony orchestras such as the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra with Yuri Temirkanov and the National Orchestra of France with Emmanuel Krivine. After its première in Paris it will pass the baton to the Vienna Philharmonic directed by Andris Nelsons and the Philharmonia Orchestra with Esa-Pekka Salonen.

 

Paris, Theatre des Champs-Élysées, 25 January, 20:00

Jennifer Johnston, mezzosoprano
Corby Welch, tenor
Basque National Orchestra
Robert Treviño,
conductor

Maurice Ravel: Rapsodie espagnole [16’] / La Valse [12’]
Gustav Mahler: The Song of the Earth [63’]

 

 

 

Istanbul:

 

Istanbul is a city buzzing with cultural activity and with a prestigious agenda that draws renowned orchestras from around the world. On 9 March the Basque National Orchestra will play on the stage of the CRR to perform what is considered Anton Bruckner’s masterpiece, his Symphony No. 9, and Violin Concerto No. 1 by Max Bruch during the first part with Alena Baeva as the guest soloist. For Robert Treviño, in addition to following its vocation to be a cultural ambassador, “The Basque National Orchestra must be known for its great skill and performance level, and we can do that with these demanding pieces”. The date requested by Istanbul prevents Robert Treviño from conducting this concert, and in his absence it will be Hans Graf who will hold the baton. The Austrian was the permanent director of the Basque National Orchestra in the late 90s and has returned on several occasions as guest conductor. He is a conductor known worldwide and very Brucknerian, meaning that he has the full trust of Treviño to lead this début in Istanbul.

 

Cemal Reşit Rey (CRR) Concert Hall:

 

The Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall is one of the country’s main concert halls and the first to be designed for classical music. It owes its name to Turk composer Cemal Reşit Rey, also an orchestra director and founder of the Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra. It was inaugurated in March 1989. During these 30 years it has hosted companies from around the world, and hosts the city’s classical, jazz and dance programme which includes performances by the CRR Symphony Orchestra, the CRR Turkish Music Ensemble and the CRR Jazz Orchestra.

 

Istanbul, CRR, 9 March

Alena Baeva, violin
Basque National Orchestra
Hans Graf, conductor

Max Bruch: Violin and orchestra Concerto No. 1 [24’]
Anton Bruckner: Symphony No. 9 [63’]

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