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RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra 2019/2020

Kernis, Mozart, Bruckner

friday 24th January 2020

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RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra
Carlos Kalmar conductor
Martin James Bartlett piano

Aaron Jay Kernis Musica Celestis / 11’
Mozart Piano Concerto No. 9 / 32’
Bruckner Symphony No. 2 (1877 version) / 60’

A piano concerto dubbed ‘one of the greatest wonders of the world’, a symphony that broke the mould and a breath-taking new work from America of melting, angelic beauty.

On the cusp of the boldness and brilliance that marked him out as a musical genius, the 21-year-old Mozart’s Ninth Piano Concerto is a gently spinning, spell-casting cascade of melodies weaving piano and orchestra together in an inventively playful duet bound by a silvery, gossamer-delicate thread of cut-crystal beauty.

Unlike the youthful Mozart, Bruckner was nearly 50 when he composed his Second Symphony. But it, too, marked a point of no return. Turning inwards for inspiration, he produced a vast work of majestic blocks of burnished harmony and heart-stopping stillness that earned it the nickname of the  ‘Symphony of Pauses’. Deeply felt and passionately voiced, it manages to sound deeply rooted and free as air as it takes you on a wondrous journey.

The journey of the soul and its ‘heavenly music’ is conjured by leading American composer Aaron Jay Kernis in his blissfully beautiful work for strings, Musica Celestis, in its first performance in Ireland. Inspired by ‘the singing of the angels in Heaven in praise of God without end’, it’s a work of luminous calm and hypnotic beauty.

Seamlessly combining this varied and vital music will be the ‘joyful and dynamic conductor’ (Atlanta Journal-Constitution) Carlos Kalmar, with Martin James Bartlett – ‘clearly destined for great things’ (Evening Standard) – set to make the piano sing out in Mozart’s captivating concerto. 

Preceded at 6.30pm by Soundings free pre-concert talk with Carlos Kalmar in conversation.

Presented by RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra