A special meeting on the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra stage for the opening of the Eighty-Third Season
Maestro Zubin Mehta and the wonderful pianist Martha Argerich lead the opening concert of the new season, joined by a quartet of singers and the renowned Munich Bach Choir, to perform three works, each with a fascinating story: The program begins with “The Prophet,” a symphonic poem by Israeli composer Uri Brenner. The source of the composer’s inspiration is the role of the artist through Alexander Pushkin’s eyes, described in the work with the sounds of the orchestra and voices of the choir: “… to inform people of the truth…to illuminate their path to a higher and more spiritual life.”
Next, Martha Argerich performs Robert Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A Minor. It took Schumann five years to write the concerto, and the composer designated it as a wedding gift for his wife, the pianist Clara Wieck. Their long struggle with their families for their right to marry made this magnificent concerto into one of the most romantic pieces in the history of music. The concerto expresses Schumann’s vision of the role of the artist, as he wrote in 1839: “We must wait for a composer to show us a new and brilliant way of combining the piano sound with the orchestral sound, and for the pianist to display his art on the keyboard in a way that blends with the orchestra, which no longer looks on from outside but fits into the scene.”
After the break, four soloists and the Munich Bach Choir join the orchestra to perform Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Coronation Mass” (K. 317). The young prodigy grew up to become a composer who needed to work for a living. He was appointed organist and composer in the cathedral in his hometown of Salzburg. As one of many composers in this role, Mozart is particularly brilliant in dealing with the traditional elements of the mass. He emphasizes the vocal presence of the singers and the marches in the trumpets, and creates music that would later be used in the coronation ceremonies of Austrian emperors – hence the name, “Coronation.”
The Goethe-Institut Israel is honoured to facilitate ten concerts of the Munich Bach Choir as guests of the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Maestro Zubin Mehta. We congratulate the State of Israel on 70 years of independence and look forward to many more years of fruitful cultural cooperations between Germany and Israel.