Henri Dutilleux: Métaboles (1964) 17’
Felip Pedrell: Excelsior, Symphonic Poem (1880) 29’
Johannes Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15 (1854-1858) 44’
Barcelona Symphony Orchestra (OBC)
Andreas Haefliger, piano
Ludovic Morlot, conductor
A long, tortuous process led to the creation of Piano Concerto No. 1 by Johannes Brahms. A work originally conceived as a sonata and later as a possible symphony, it constitutes a landmark in piano concertos. The tragic aura perceptible from the opening bars has often been associated with the decline and death of his friend Robert Schumann in 1856. The young Brahms created a work with its roots in the past and its eyes on the future, and it aroused equal amounts of astonishment and irritation in its day. It is a paradigmatic Romantic concerto, bearing Brahms’ unmistakeable personal hallmark.
Felip Pedrell, who was responsible for breathing new life into music in Spain and helping to disseminate the work of Richard Wagner, embarked on a new pathway in the creation of Excelsior, a symphonic poem with a Wagnerian air. He would later go on to write work such as Els Pirineus (The Pyrenees) and El comte Arnau (Count Arnau).
“An epiphany in sound, based on the eternal movement of the natural metamorphoses found in the midst of the real world”. This is how Henri Dutilleux defined his Métaboles, a superb timbral and formal study, filled with recurrent mystic symbols by the French wizard of sound.