In a live concert streamed across a number of online platforms, Semyon Bychkov – Chief Conductor and Music Director of the Czech Philharmonic – this week leads the Orchestra’s first performance of Bryce Dessner’s Concerto for Two Pianos, with guest artists Katia and Marielle Labèque. Also on the programme is Mendelssohn’s Symphony No 3, known as the Scottish.
From the Rudolfinum in Prague, this will be the first of the Czech Philharmonic’s own live-streamed concerts to be streamed on social media. Co-hosted on Semyon Bychkov’s Facebook page, the stream will also be available to view on the Facebook pages of Classic FM and those of all the European halls which the Orchestra was due to visit this month – the Vienna Konzerthaus, Paris Philharmonie, Brussels’ BOZAR Centre for Fine Arts, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw and the Barbican in London – and all subscribers to these concert halls will be able to watch the concert on the the Czech Philharmonic’s YouTube channel as well.
Bryce Dessner’s Concerto for Two Pianos, composed in 2018, was written for Katia and Marielle Labèque – a co-commission of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Istanbul’s Borusan Culture Arts Centre, Dresden Philharmonie, Orquesta Nacionales de Espanã and Orchestre de Paris. Dessner, founder and member of rock band The National, is described by Steve Reich as “….. an important composer with a developed technique and an intense emotional voice”, and by the LA Times as “…. exactly the kind of composer who personifies what might be next for classical music”.
Katia and Marielle Labèque – described by the New York Times as “The best piano duo in front of an audience today” – are delighted with the work. “Bryce has written a magnificent concerto for us,” they say, “and it has became one of our favourite concertos in our repertory. His style is unique because he has a perfect knowledge of so many musical worlds and you can hear all of them in this concerto.”
Mendelssohn’s Scottish Symphony – dedicated to the young Queen Victoria – was written between 1829 and 1842, after a grand tour of Scotland which the composer undertook in 1829 with a close friend of the Mendelssohn family, Karl Klingemann. The tour which made a deep impression on the young Mendelssohn, who loved the country. The work was premiered in the Leipzig Gewandhaus on 3rd March, 1842, and had its first performance in London in the same year, to an audience which included Queen Victoria.
Semyon Bychkov leads the Czech Philharmonic in a performance of Bryce Dessner’s Concerto for Two Pianos – with guest artists Katia and Marielle Labèque – and Mendelssohn’s Symphony No 3, the Scottish, at 7.00 pm (GMT), 8.00 pm (CET) on February 4th.
The concert will be available to watch on the Facebook sites of Semyon Bychkov, Classic FM and the Czech Philharmonic, as well as on the Czech Philharmonic’s YouTube site. It will be available on Facebook and YouTube for one week after the initial transmission.
Information sourced from:
Czech Philharmonic programme notes
Mendelssohn in Scotland