F. J. Haydn: Symphony No. 60 in C, Hob. I/60 “Il Distratto” (c. 1775) 24′
Hans Abrahamsen: Concert for Horn and Orchestra (2019) 18′ – National Premier
Bohuslav Martinů: Memorial to Lidice (1943) 8′
L. V. Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 in C minor, op. 67 (1804-08) 36′
Barcelona Symphony Orchestra (OBC)
Juan Manuel Gómez, horn
Ludovic Morlot, conductor
Some music has an aura of legend, with so much historical significance that we forget the music itself since it manages to transcend all else. This is the rare case of L. V. Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5. A work that was gradually fashioned over a long period of time, it was premiered in Vienna in 1808 under the baton of the composer himself, where it made an astonishing impact, transforming the history and significance of symphonic music. In his well-known review written two years after the premiere, E. T. A. Hoffmann said that it opened the gateway to the “kingdom of the infinite”.
Much of F. J. Haydn’s superb sense of freedom is revealed in his Symphony No. 60, known as Il Distratto (The Distracted), a work filled with musical surprises with an almost theatrical approach to the scenes. Indeed, originally it was conceived as incidental music for a play. The sublime and the hilarious both coexist in a work that still conserves a modern air over two centuries after it was written.
Hans Abrahamsen’s Horn Concerto has been a hit success on numerous occasions in Europe since its premiere. Dedicated to the well-known German horn player, Stefan Dohr, who premiered it with the Berlin Philharmonic in 2020, it has been highlighted for its capacity to create surprising, evocative atmospheres with few means.
Even after his exile in the United States, Bohuslav Martinů was able to concentrate on one of his major works, Memorial to Lidice, a heartrending musical testimony to one of the worst massacres committed by the Nazis during their occupation of the former Czechoslovakia, in which he includes the famous “destiny” motif from Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5.