the concert will finish at 9.30 pm
Busoni. Ravel. Strauss: Journeys in Time
The one common link between the works and composers in this programme is undoubtedly time. All of the pieces were written within twenty years of each other in the first half of the 20th century, and the composers all look back in time, seeking inspiration from the Baroque and Classical masters. Richard Strauss in his orchestral suite Le bourgeois gentilhomme (Der Bürger als Edelmann) refers to the ballet of the same title by Jean-Baptist Lully – a trailblazer of comédie-ballet, among whose admirers was also the Sun King Louis XIV. Le tombeau de Couperin by Maurice Ravel is a charming homage to the French harpsichordist François Couperin. Ferruccio Busoni in his Divertimento looks back to the Mozartian example of music of lighter character, the so-called Tafelmusik. Anton Webern, a representaive of the Second Viennese school, a master of dodecaphony and later serialism, had the courage to turn to the inimitable Bach. He chose to orchestrate one of Bach’s works of supreme contrapuntal art, the Musical Offering. This collection of pieces is de facto an ingenious game, based on one theme, given to Bach by the King Frederick II of Prussia. The composition itself is rigorously worked out with nothing left to chance; yet, in contrast, the issue of instrumentation is left open and in most parts is not prescribed at all. It was Webern, who came up with a solution in an original and unusually colourful arrangement, a true delicacy for the audience as well as the PKF — Prague Philharmonia conducted by Kaspar Zehnder.
PKF — Prague Philharmonia & Kaspar Zehnder
Kaspar Zehnder — flute, conductor
The flautist and conductor Kaspar Zehnder returns to the PKF — Prague Philharmonia concert season for the first time since 2008 when Jakub Hrůša took over the post of the PKF’s principal conductor. This recipient of the Armel-Preis in 2017 for his production of the chamber opera Weisse Rose by Udo Zimmermann regularly works with Europe’s leading orchestras. He is the artistic director of the festival Murten Classics and the Sinfonie Orchester Biel Solothurn, and has been the principal conductor of the Hradec Králové Philharmonic since 2018. He studied the flute and conducting and then expanded his education in Zurich, Basil, Paris and at the European Mozart Academy under figures such as Aurèle Nicolet, Ralf Weikert, Manfred Honeck and Charles Dutoit. He became more widely known following a benefit concert with the English Chamber Orchestra under the patronage of Prince Charles. In the 2019-2020 season he will be appearing at the Lincoln Center in New York, Milan’s Teatro alla Scala, as well as a series of concerts with Sir Simon Rattle and Magdalena Kožená. In the second concert of the PKF’s orchestral season he will be appearing both as a conductor and flautist in Ferrucio Busoni’s Divertimento for Flute and Small Orchestra.
Václav Mácha — piano
At just fifteen years of age, Václav Mácha became the youngest undergraduate at the Music Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, where he studied in the class of the world-famous Czech pianist Ivan Moravec. After successfully graduating from the Prague Academy, he studied with Karl-Heinz Kammerling at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hannover, where he graduated in 2001 and went on to do postgraduate studies in solo piano under the same teacher. He has performed as a soloist in most of this country’s major concert halls and in many European cities. He has made repeat visits to the United States, Canada, Mexico, Turkey and Asia. He has performed with the Czech Philharmonic, BBC Symphony Orchestra, PKF — Prague Philharmonia, Brno Philharmonic, Suk Chamber Orchestra, Czech Chamber Orchestra and Hradec Králové Philharmonic. He has worked with many leading Czech and foreign conductors (Jiří Bělohlávek, Ondřej Kukal, Eiji Oue, Naoshi Takahashi, etc.). In 2009 he appeared as a soloist with the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the BBC Proms in the Royal Albert Hall in London. Since 2012 he has been a member of the Czech Philharmonic.