Beethoven: Septet in E-Flat major, Op. 20 / Adagio. Allegro con brio
Tempo di menuetto
Tema con variazioni: Andante
Scherzo: Allegro molto e vivace
Andante con molto alla marcia - Presto
Richard Strauss: Till Eulenspiegel einmal anders!
OSM Chamber Soloists :
Under the artistic direction of Andrew Wan, principal violist of the OSM, this album highlights the great musical qualities of the musicians of the OSM in reduced formation: Andrew Wan on violin, Neal Gripp on viola, Brian Manker on cello,
Ali Yazdanfar on bass, Todd Cope on clarinet, Stéphane Lévesque on bassoon and John Zirbel on horn.
The Septuor in E flat major, op. 20, by Ludwig van Beethoven and Till Eulenspiegel einmal anders !, arrangement by Franz Hasenöhrl of the symphonic poem Till Eulenspiegel, op. 28, by Richard Strauss allows us to appreciate the mix of timbres of three important orchestral groups of the orchestra: strings, woodwinds and brass. After the Septuor, where the musical texture remains finely chiseled thanks to the variety of timbres, we marvel at Hasenöhrl's ingeniousness to suggest an entire orchestra with only five instruments. Together, these two works constitute a program where predominates a certain lightness - embellished with a touch of humor.
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) composed his Septet in E flat major, op. 20, in the second half of 1799. Having left Bonn in November 1792 to study with Joseph Haydn in Vienna, he remained there at the time of writing the Septuor, although his studies with "Papa Haydn" since 1794. Beethoven has been able to make his talent recognized in this city, where he receives the support of several Viennese aristocrats, as his pupil Carl Czerny explains: "It has been said and repeated to A stranger that Beethoven was not appreciated in Vienna and was hastily obstructed. The truth is that, from his youth, he was largely supported by the nobility and benefited as much as any other young artist from the attention and respect of the high aristocracy.
Designed in six movements - which makes it often compared to a divertimento or a serenade - the Septuor, op. 20, is characterized by its melodic inventiveness and freshness, which is partly explained by the fact that all the movements are in major tones and that the passages in minor are, all in all quite rare in the whole of the world. 'artwork. The listener familiar with the 32 sonatas for piano will undoubtedly recognize in the theme of the third movement, Tempo di minuetto, that of the last movement of the Sonata in G major, op. 49, No. 2, composed in 1795.
The Septuor was a great success from its first performance during a public concert, April 2, 1800, during which was also created the First Symphony in C major, op. 21. While this one confronts the spectators, the Septuor for violin, viola, clarinet, horn, bassoon, cello and double bass, "written with taste and imagination" according to the Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung, immediately appeals. He subsequently became popular, as evidenced by numerous adaptations for various instrumental groups, including those for piano, violin, clarinet and cello, by Beethoven himself (Trio in E flat major, Op 38).
It was in 1894, shortly after his marriage to the eccentric soprano Pauline de Ahna, that Richard Strauss (1864-1949) began composing the symphonic poem Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche (Pleasing jokes of Till the Mischievous), op. 28. The subject is both historical and legendary: Till Eulenspiegel is a character who really existed in Lower Saxony in the fourteenth century. After his death, around 1350, his adventures were relayed orally for over a century before being recorded in writing. The jokes of Till, poor and despised peasant, spare no one: the rascal attacks the representatives of the Church, sovereigns, academics ... and even his fellow man. The diversity of its victims increases the complexity of the character: can not be reduced to a mere figure of opposition to different forms of authority,
The inspiration drawn by Richard Strauss in this story seems to have manifested itself directly in music, without passing through words. To the conductor Franz Wüllner, who, in charge of directing the creation of the work, wishes to learn more about the nature of the "jokes" that Strauss set to music, the composer sends this telegram: "Analysis impossible for me. All mind exhausted in the notes. From the first, November 5, 1895, Till Eulenspiegel was a great success and aroused several attempts to interpret its programmatic material.
It was only a year later that Strauss entrusted information to the critic Wilhelm Mauke. After a brief introduction, in the manner of a "Once upon a time", the themes of Till appear. These will punctuate the various episodes of the work, namely the disorder sown by the rascal in a public market, his disguise as a pastor, the rejection of the marriage proposal he makes to a young girl, her dark designs revenge against humanity and, finally, his public performance - an element that shows that the composer was not very attached to the "original" story of the character, since the latter, in fact, was swept away by the plague.