Ceremony 500 years Bayerisches Staatsorchester

The anniversary year of the Bayerische Staatsorchester is ushered in with a ceremony. General Music Director Vladimir Jurowski conducts music by composers whose selections offer a glimpse of the orchestra’s formidable history: Four of Richard Wagner’s operas were premiered in Munich by the Bayerische Staatsorchester, among which one boasts particularly festive sounds: Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.

500 years ago, Ludwig Senfl, as musicus intonator or musicus primarius, and a few year-round musicians were engaged by the Bavarian Duke Wilhelm IV to collect sheet music, build up a repertoire and perform both ecclesiastical and secular music: this is the birth of an orchestra that was later also presided over by Orlando di Lasso. The popularity of Lasso’s music among Renaissance contemporaries and the composer’s historical significance for music history can hardly be overestimated. Lasso’s last work Lagrime di San Pietro bears impressive witness to this.

But Richard Strauss also conducted the Bayerische Staatsorchester for two years, and the scores of two of his operas were breathed life into for the first time by the Bayerische Staatsorchester. An Alpine Symphony represents the composer’s last symphonic poem and, in its impressive depiction of the ascent and descent of a mountain hike through a gigantic orchestral apparatus, makes programmatic reference to the Bavarian foothills of the Alps.