In 2022, the Netherlands Symphony Project will celebrate its tenth anniversary. This will be celebrated with a festive programme in the most beautiful concert halls in the Netherlands.
Respighi – Pini di Roma
Ravel – Piano concerto in G with soloist Thomas Beijer
Rachmaninov – Symphonic Dances
- Thursday 25 August | Doetinchem – Schouwburg Amphion
- Friday 26 August | Eindhoven – Muziekgebouw Frits Philips
- Saturday 27 August | Zutphen – Theater Hanzehof
- Sunday 28 August | Amsterdam – Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ
- Saturday 17 September | Amsterdam – Klassiek op het Amstelveld
Ottorini Respighi – Pini di Roma
The Italian composer Ottorino Respighi (1879-1936) wrote three symphonic poems as an ode to the city of Rome, of which Pini di Roma is the last one. Pini di Roma consists of four movements, throughout which pine trees in different parts of the city are depicted musically. In the first movement, children are playing near the pine trees of Villa Borghese. In the next movement, the children disappear suddenly and the pine trees’ shadows are depicted over a Roman catacomb. In the third movement, which is a nocturne on the hill Janiculum, the full moon shines on the pine trees near the temple of Janus and a nightingale sings. In the fourth and final movement, the pine trees along the Via Appia are depicted, as a flashback to the glory of the old Roman Empire. A legion walks a triumphal march at sunrise and the movement ends with beautiful, triumphant flourish of trumpets.
Maurice Ravel – Piano concerto in G
Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) started writing his piano concerto when he had just come back in Paris from a tour in America. He was inspired by the jazz culture that was alive in both America and Paris and his Piano concerto is full of jazz influences. The first movement starts with the whiplash and Spanish sounds of his youth. Besides influences from jazz, we also encounter sounds of blues in this movement. The second movement contrasts with the first: a beautiful piano solo at the beginning is taken over by soli in the flute, oboe and clarinet, which flow into the second theme. The movement ends with a trill in the piano that extinguishes like a candle in the night. The start of the third movement makes the audience sit up with an introduction by a big band and the wild theme in the piano, which is full of jazz. The theme is followed by a wild finale.
Sergej Rachmaninov – Symphonic Dances
Symphonic Dances is the last great piece for orchestra by Russian composer Sergej Rachmaninov (1873 – 1943). Originally called Fantastic Dances, the piece consists of three movements: Afternoon, Dusk and Midnight. These original titles are not used anymore, but the three separate movements remain. Despite the very romantic character of the piece, we can hear many modern influences in Symphonic Dances. For example, Rachmaninov used an alto saxophone, which is an unusual instrument in a symphony orchestra, to add more timbre to the first movement. The third movement contains jazz influences, a genre that became increasingly more popular in the first half of the twentieth century. Rachmaninov also uses energetic, complex rhythms, which were undoubtedly inspired by the Sacre du Printemps, Igor Stravinsky’s revolutionary twentieth-century ballet. He combines these rhythms with the most beautiful melodies. In Symphonic Dances, Rachmaninov cites a great number of his earlier compositions, hereby providing a sort of anthology of his work. Especially the reference to his failed first symphony stands out: a melody in major instead of minor – a bittersweet memory. The second movement is a dark waltz; in the original music, we would often find the title Dusk. The third movement is a battle between Death – depicted by the famous Dies Irae theme – and Resurrection, depicted through a reference to Rachmaninov’s ninth movement of his Vespers, in which the story of Easter is told. The battle is won by Resurrection. Rachmaninov fittingly wrote down one word in his score: “Hallelujah!”