The piece sits between works by R Strauss and Hummel, and if you haven’t heard of it before you’re not alone: the performance will be the UK premiere for audiences at Lighthouse, Poole (2 Oct) and Cadogan Hall, London (4 Oct).
The piece will be performed in English, with a translation by the renowned Lieder specialist, Richard Stokes.
Kirill says, “I’ve been looking forward to bringing this unpublished work by Liszt to the BSO after finding the score last year, and I can’t think of a better way to open the season. No one knew that Liszt wrote music like this – it’s going to be really exciting”.
One of the giants of the piano repertoire, Liszt pushed the technical capabilities of the instrument, forging an harmonic language we love today; his works such as Années de pèlerinage and the Dante Sonata remain staple favourites in the repertoire. Whilst he also wrote for the voice, he is not known for producing staged melodramas like this work.
Internationally renowned composer and writer Gerard McBurney is working with the BSO to realise the performance of this unpublished work. He described it:
“Vor hundert Jahren was composed as part of the pan-Germanic celebrations in 1859 marking the centenary of the birth of Friedrich Schiller. Familiar to music lovers as the author of ‘Ode to Joy’, Schiller was not only a great poet and playwright, but a political philosopher who had a deep influence on the new dream of German Unification. For this melodrama for actors and symphony orchestra, Liszt’s friend and colleague, Friedrich Halm, created a high-flown libretto, in which the tragic character of ‘Germania’, left alone in the mountains, bewails the pitiful state into which the German people and their culture have fallen, before the miraculous figure of Poetry appears, to take her on a tour of Schiller’s works, showing how they offer comfort and inspiration for the nation’s future.”
Hummel Freudenfest Overture
Liszt Vor hundert Jahren
R Strauss Der Rosenkavalier Suite
Kirill Karabits conductor
Gerard McBurney dramatic conception
Sara Kestelman Germania
Jemma Redgrave Poetry
Students from the BA (Hons) Acting course, Arts University Bournemouth