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Bruch & Strauss

Foto: Vincy Ng

“The most terrible period of human history is at an end, the twelve year reign of bestiality, ignorance and anti-culture under the greatest criminals, during which Germany’s 2,000 years of cultural evolution met its doom”

Strauss, like many other composers of his time, walked a tightrope between being perceived as complicit in the Nazi policies and standing in opposition to the atrocities of the Holocaust. His affiliation with Hitler in the mid-1930s probably safeguarded his own life, as well as those of his family and friends during the tumult of war. Notably his daughter-in-law and many of his friends were Jewish, underscoring the complexities of his personal relationships amidst the political climate.

Metamorphosen for 23 solo strings is said to be written as an elegy to the enormous destruction of war, witnessed firsthand by Strauss himself as he traversed a ravaged Germany. However, the precise message Strauss infused into Metamorphosen remains ambiguous, devoid of explicit elucidation within its musical structure. It is probable that the title signifies a more philosophical contemplation on humanity's capacity for brutality, which can emerge under certain circumstances. Hence, this composition and its contextual backdrop persist as poignant reminders in our enduring quest for humanistic values.

But first, the concert begins with a piece written a few years prior. By a twist of fate, it is the immortal violin concerto by the Jewish composer Max Bruch that will captivate our romantic hearts. Bruch's masterpiece remains an enduring pinnacle of musical achievement, widely celebrated and frequently performed. Tonight, our esteemed guest director, Alexander Sitkovetsky, graces the stage as soloist, lending his virtuosity to this cherished work.

Nestled between these two compositions, Icelandic composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir paints a vivid musical portrait of dawn. Her piece, Illumine, captures the ethereal beauty of daybreak, evoking the delicate interplay of light and shadow as the first rays pierce the darkness.

Tirsdag 15. oktober kl. 19.00

Universitetets Aula

Max Bruch  

Violin Concerto No. 1 in g minor

Anna Thorvaldsdottir


Richard Strauss 

Metamorphosen for 23 strings


Alexander Sitkovetsky guest director / violin

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