Symphonic Orchestra - Conducted by Arjan Tien

Classical Concert

Theater aan het Vrijthof - Vrijthof 47 Maastricht



Ludwig van Beethoven (1779-1827) Leonore Overture No. 3, op 72b (1806)                      
- Adagio
- Allegro           

Mario Pallas (1992*)   The Absurd Icon, Percussion Concerto (2022)
- Passion
- Kirilov
- Kirilov revolution        
Soloist: Magi Llatser Torres  

Álvaro Rosselló Piernas (1995*) Symphonic Movement (2022)
For duo percussion and orchestra 
Soloists: Andrea Armas Batista & Gema Vega Diaz 

Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) Symphony No. 3, op. 90 (1883)      
- Allegro con brio
- Andante 
- Poco allegretto
- Allegro

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About the programme

A Heroic Overture
Brilliant though he was, Beethoven was not an opera composer like Mozart. This is apparent from his Leonore Ouverture no. 3, which, by the way, later turned out to have been only his second attempt at an overture for his opera Fidelio. Like the entire opera, the overture received mixed reviews; it was considered too intense, too dramatic for an introductory piece. But then again, it would have been unlike Beethoven to provide a gentle introduction; his music is always charged, often stormy. When the overture unfolds softly, we hear Florestan who, having been captured by the tyrant Don Pizarro, dreams of freedom and light. In the energetic music that follows, his beloved Leonore, disguised to pass herself off as Fidelio, sets off to save Florestan - since the Storming of the Bastille, the prelude to the French Revolution, the 'rescue opera' had been more popular than ever. The unmistakeable trumpet signal, in the middle of the overture, returns offstage in the opera to mark the final confrontation between Leonore and Don Pizarro. This is followed by a celebration of freedom, and the light returns to the music. This was heavily inspired by Greek mythology, in which Prometheus stole fire from the gods to give it to the people. Despite criticism of its 'heavy' nature, the dramatic and narrative power of the overture have made it very popular as a concert piece in its own right. The overture is even considered to be a prime example of musical heroism in Beethoven's oeuvre.

Mario Pallas (1992*)   The Absurd Icon, percussion concerto (1992)
M. Pallas: The piece is influenced by Albert Camus and his approach to the concept of the Absurd Hero, which is analyzed in his book The Myth of Sisyphus. By being an absurd individual, it is essential to be constantly aware of living with contradictions. Living as an Absurd Hero does not drive an individual into insanity, on the contrary, allows him/her to live life to its fullest. The Absurd Hero has 3 characteristics: Revolt-not accepting any reconciliation in tough times, Freedom-knowing the values of freedom of choice-, and passion-living a life full of strong experiences. The Absurd Hero is relying on his/her ideology of a hopeless future and on his/her reasoning that his/her actions have only consequences in this world, and not in a world beyond. 1st Movement: The music portrays the emotions and the characteristics of a passionate Absurd Hero, who lives for his/her passions of instant times. He/she lives hopelessly of finding a transcendent meaning in life, and he/she recognizes the pointlessness of his/her actions. The passionate individual wants to experience repetitive, meaningless actions and not find true love.2nd Movement I-II (Kirillov): Kirillov is a character from The Possessed by Dostoevsky. The 2nd Movement I portray the Christian society that Kirillov lives in. He is determined to commit suicide during a period when it would be earthshaking for society. The 2nd Movement II depicts Kirillov’s “logical suicide”. His action was a revolt against God’s nonexistence, and he has done it to prove that he is free. Camus says that Kirillov wanted to show that anyone can become God by doing everything of their own will, and that actions serve only themselves. In a godless environment, people take over the position that God would otherwise have held. 

Álvaro Rosselló Piernas (1995*)           Symphonic movement (2022)
“Symphonic movement for duo percussion and orchestra” is a work whose general idea is summarized in its first bars. Through a few notes wrapped in a perceptible rhythm, the music begins to sound on the cellos, which little by little spreads to the rest of the instruments until it explodes throughout the orchestra.
After the appearance of the marimba, and later the xylophone as the main roles in this duo, the work continues developing the same idea, this being an almost constant rhythmic and melodic idea.
After the intensity of the beginning, the work makes its way through more relaxed and innocent moments, where a greater interaction between soloists with and without the orchestra prevails.
Finally, this second section goes back to the leitmotiv of the beginning, presenting itself more aggressively by the entire orchestra. The soloist parts make their appearance again, this time only with the marimba as the main instrument, closing the work with a closer and more intimate performance.
However, beyond these first lines, the author does not intend to convey a complete message or story to the audience. Fleeing from determining factors such as program music or a descriptive title (hence the name given to the work), the attempt is made for the listener himself to find his own meaning in the work, if he finds it at all.

Brahms at his Best
After a robust first and a charming second symphony, Brahms’s third was considered to be his most complete masterpiece. Brahms was in top form; having doubted for twenty years whether he was capable of following in Beethoven's footsteps, he quickly grew more confident after the success of his first symphony. In the years that followed, he wrote one masterpiece after the other, including his violin concerto, the second piano concerto, countless songs and Hungarian Dances. The third symphony starts with the motif F-A♭-F, which is short for “frei aber froh” (“free but happy”). This was his response to the motto of his good friend, violinist Joseph Joachim (1831-1907): “frei aber einsam” (“free but lonely”). These mottos referred to Brahms's and Joachim's bachelor status. The motif F-A♭-F returns frequently throughout the symphony, but in the first movement especially, it is used extensively in both the melody and the accompaniment.
Brahms was in Wiesbaden when he wrote his third symphony. There, on the river Rhine, his thoughts must have wandered back to the time he spent in the Schumann residence in Düsseldorf. After the opening motif, Brahms uses a descending sequence to pay homage to Schumann's third, 'Rhenish' symphony. Instead of a capricious scherzo, Brahms chose a waltz-like allegretto for his third movement, before ending with an equally majestic and charming finale. Although the symphony was well-received, followers of Brahms’s musical opposite Richard Wagner planned to cause a disturbance during its premiere in 1883. This almost led to a clash with Brahms fans. The composers themselves, however, were not troubled by their musical differences; they valued each other and when they met in a Viennese restaurant and ended up ordering the same meal, they joked that they appeared to have the same taste after all.