|Tuesday, January 18, 2022
You are here: Home » Lookout » Munich Philharmonic, Santa Cruz
  • Follow Us!

Munich Philharmonic, Santa Cruz 

Haydn´s 50th symphony in D Major opened the concert on 17th of February. A stately yet uninspiring symphony and one of his lesser known – rightly so – works. It was capably executed under the direction of Pablo Casado, but it amounted to no more than a relatively boring aperitif for what was to come.

The highlight was Bartok´s Third Piano Concerto, sensitively and well executed by the Spanish pianist Javier Perianes. Bartok wrote this work in 1945, his last year – he was suffering from leukaemia. Despite his sickness and tough economic circumstances, this is a joyful work. Witty, playful, and happy, with jaunty rhythms and harmonies typical of Hungarian folk music. The best part was the second movement, Andante Religioso, starting like a prayer and building in intensity to then close with a quiet contentment. The execution by Javier Perianes was nuanced, sensitive in the second movement, technically competent and controlled. Overall, a very good performance, followed by an encore.

Dvorak´s 7th symphony, written in the shadow of his mother´s death in 1883, contains resignation and foreboding, infused with folk melodies and rustic tones of 19th century Bohemia. Yearning, anguish and torment are dominant themes (which are unlike the summery aspects of much of his music), although it ends in a blaze of glory, reflecting what must have been Dvorak´s conflicting feelings. The orchestra brought out these contrasting themes with clarity, although there was a danger of plodding in the final movement. Despite the latter, it was an engaging performance.

John E. Gardner