A French evening with the Vorarlberg Symphony Orchestra

The conductor Christoph Altstaedt was born in Heidelberg in 1980.
© Photo: Peter Gwiazda.

Second subscription concert with a focus on César Franck, conducted by Christoph Altstaedt

César Franck with his Symphony in D minor, Claude Debussy, Jean-Philippe Rameau and Benjamin Britten’s French songs: The geographic focus of the SOV concerts on October 23 and 24 is clearly on France. Christoph Altstaedt is at the desk. Soprano Ana Maria Labin takes on the vocal part.

César Franck (1822 – 1890) is one of the most original and unusual composers of the 19th century. His symphony in D minor, composed between 1886 and 1888, was often rejected at the time. Obviously the audience was a bit overwhelmed. Today the assessment is completely different. “A rarely performed, but great work that belongs in the repertoire of every symphony orchestra,” says SOV Managing Director Sebastian Hazod. The piece was the starting point for planning this subscription production in Feldkirch and Bregenz. Other French elements from three centuries run through the whole concert.

Heartbreaking songs from a gifted teenager
Part of it are 5 preludes by Claude Debussy (1862-1918), a figurehead of musical impressionism. Debussy wrote a total of 24 preludes for piano solo. The German composer and conductor Hans Zender arranged five of these imaginative piano pieces for orchestra and in this way worked out the finest nuances.

Benjamin Britten (1913-1976) opens up further French soundscapes, who at the age of 14 wrote “Quatre chansons françaises” for high voice and orchestra. He was about to move from his parents’ home to a boarding school. It was under this impression that the Englishman selected the texts by Victor Hugo and Paul Verlaine, whose atmosphere he compositionally captured, and dedicated the chansons to his parents. They will be interpreted by the young Swiss soprano Ana Maria Labin.

Lively entry
Jean-Philippe Rameau’s (1683 – 1764) ballet opera “Les Indes galantes” takes the audience into an exotic, magical world. Contrary to what the title suggests, the locations of the love stories shown there are not just India. In the Baroque era, India was a collective term for distant countries outside of Europe. Actually, this work is sung, played and danced. At the end of the first part of the concert, the German conductor Christoph Altstaedt put together a few pieces into a lively suite.

Focus on mediation
Altstaedt is very interested in getting more people interested in operas and concerts. In addition, he treads unusual paths, deals with new concert formats, with contemporary electronic music and hip-hop. “I love the direct exchange with the audience. I want to entertain long-time music lovers just as informatively and humorously as the people who are going to a concert for the first time, ”he says.

As a conductor, the 41-year-old worked for example with the Royal Philharmonic London, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra and the German Radiophilharmonie.

Vorarlberg Symphony Orchestra
Second subscription concert

Christoph Altstaedt: Conductor
Ana Maria Labin: soprano

Claude Debussy: 5 preludes / instrumentation by Hans Zender
Benjamin Britten: “Four French songs”
Jean-Philippe Rameau: Suite aus “Les Indes galantes”
Cesar Franck: Symphony in D minor

Friday, October 23rd, 7.30 p.m., Montforthaus Feldkirch
Saturday, October 24th, 5 p.m., Festspielhaus Bregenz

Free ticket sales:
Bregenz Tourism, phone +43 5574 4959
Feldkirch Tourismus, phone +43 5522 73467
in all advance booking offices of events-vorarlberg.at
in all branches of Volksbank Vorarlberg
directly from SOV, phone +43 5574 43447, email [email protected]
conveniently on your mobile phone via the Ticket Gretchen App

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