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Dialogues of the clarinet and orchestra in Swedish and French

Dialogues of the clarinet and orchestra in Swedish and French

2008-11-13

The orchestral series at the National Philharmonic Hall continues with the performance of French and Swedish music on November 15th. The Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra (LNSO) under Robertas Šervenikas will present to the audience the works by two French and two Swedish composers, while the solo part will be performed by the brilliant Swedish clarinettist and frequent guest in Lithuania – Håkan Rosengren.

Highly appreciated for his active and versatile creative work, suggestive and mature interpretations of both contemporary and classical music, conductor Robertas Šervenikas is once again going to present the audience with a solid and exciting programme, prepared together with the concert’s soloist. Håkan Rosengren and the LNSO will perform Rhapsody for clarinet and orchestra by Claude Debussy and Hallucination for clarinet and orchestra, written by the soloist’s countryman, Martin Willert. The said works will be paralleled by such orchestral pieces as Ernest Chausson’s Symphony in B flat major, Op. 20 and Hugo Alfvén’s Swedish Rhapsody (also known as Dalarapsodi) No. 3, Op. 47.

The French (with the works by Debussy and Chausson) and the Swedish part (with the works by Willert and Alfvén) of the concert’s programme is thought to enable us to appreciate the musical peculiarities of the two countries and cultures, to see the similarities and differences between their musical colouring and means of expression. It will be fascinating to hear the piece by Martin Willert, who, contrary to Debussy (1862–1918), Chausson (1855–1899) and Alfvén (1872–1960), is a modern day composer (born in 1974); therefore one may expect specific contemporary elements in his musical idiom. Will these accents be French or Swedish?

In this particular case, the audience is left to its own discrimination. Willert’s concerto Hallucination is steeped in the French spirit (perhaps it was the intrigue of this piece that prompted the performers to devise a programme combining French and Swedish music). The composer himself wrote his about his Hallucination: “In spring 2003 I came to Montmartre to compose this piece. Its original title was The Glassblower. The idea was that the soloist was supposed to blow the ‘musical bubbles’ – miniature worlds of glass where all kinds of musical events might take place. I wanted the piece to have certain lightness and French charm – like in the movie Amelie from Montmartre. However, the result is rarely what you expect it to be… When I finished writing, it turned out that a light bagatelle had turned into a fairly dark and intense composition, which could hardly be referred to as the traditional concerto. I perceive the music of the latter as being a single enormous breath (combining inhalation and exhalation). It is made of smaller breaths, they – from even smaller ones… and this continues ad infinitum.”

Hallucination was composed especially for Håkan Rosengren at the commission of the Concerts Sweden (Rikskonserter). Many composers have written works for this outstanding clarinettist of international acclaim, thus his repertoire consists of both classical solo and chamber pieces and the contemporary music works.

 
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