4th Akademiekonzert 2022/23

The long-standing collaboration between the Greek composer Minas Borboudakis and the Bavarian State Orchestra has borne fruit, such as the “Musical Theatre for Young People in Eight Scenes” premiered in 2007 entitled liebe.nurliebe, but also Synaptic Arpeggiator for piccolo, English horn, E-flat clarinet, bass clarinet and contrabassoon and most recently the German and German-language premiere of the chamber opera Z in the 2018/19 season. In the composition commissioned by the Bavarian State Opera for the 500th anniversary of the Bavarian State Orchestra entitled Apollon et Dionysos. Patterns, Colors and Dances for Orchestra Borboudakis is dedicated to the musical fusion of Apollonian and Dionysian opposites. Friedrich Nietzsche already stated in his fundamental writing The Birth of Tragedy Out of the Spirit of Musicthat “the further development of art is bound to the duality of the Apollonian and the Dionysian”: light, clarity, harmony and self-knowledge on the one hand and dissolution of boundaries, ecstasy, madness and loss of control on the other side. The ancient god Apollo adorns the gable of the National Theatre Munich to this day.

Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy’s popular Violin Concerto in E minor was written by the composer for his friend, the violinist Ferdinand David: “I
I would also like to make you a violin concerto for next winter, one
in E minor stands in my head, the beginning of which gives me no rest.” After this announcement, seven winters should elapse before the world premiere in Leipzig. The result is a visionary work that comes up with some compositional innovations: namely the direct introduction of the main theme by the violin without an orchestral prelude, the position of the solo cadenza in the middle of the first movement and the special feature that all three movements musically merge into one another.

Two formative events in Anton Bruckner’s life flowed into his work on the sprawling Symphony No. 7 in E major: the tragic fire in the Vienna Ringtheater in 1881, in which several hundred people lost their lives, occurred at the time of its composition. Bruckner’s apartment was in the immediate vicinity of the Ringtheater, and the composer is said to have owned tickets for the fateful performance of Les contes d’Hoffmann, but spontaneously decided against going there. Bruckner and his manuscripts were spared from the fire. The slow Adagio as the center of the symphony can be understood as a requiem for the death of Richard Wagner in February 1883, which is given special colors by the use of so-called Wagner tubas (these were originally conceived for the Ring des Nibelungen). After Bruckner’s Seventh Symphony had already sparked a storm of jubilation at its premiere in Leipzig in 1884 – such positive reactions from the audience were a new experience for the hitherto rather ridiculed Bruckner – Hermann Levi, from 1872 to 1896 General Music Director and Court Kapellmeister at the Royal Court and National Theatre in Munich, conducted just one year later the Munich premiere of the work as part of the Musikalische Akademie. Levi also helped spread the work internationally by raising money for its publication, which the publisher was asking for. In Levi’s report on Bruckner’s works, the conductor finally ennobles the composer: “In my opinion, Bruckner is by far the most important symphonist of the post-Beethoven period.”

Photo credit: The Ringtheater fire in Vienna 1881. 19th century, Colored lithograph. Theatermuseum © KHM-Museumsverband