Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne
GO Plus - Season 2017/18
(in progress)
Director: Hans Hadulla
Live-Stream for: Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne
Streaming dates: Oct. 3rd, 2017 | Feb. 6th, 2018 | Feb. 20th, 2018
16:9 shot in 1080i HD | 5.1 surround sound
© 2017 / 2018, a BFMI production for Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne
The Gürzenich Or­chestra Cologne makes its performances archive avail­able on de­mand with GO PLUS, the or­chestra’s stream­ing platform, present­ing a se­lection of entire concerts performed by the Gürzenich Or­chestra from each sea­son. The concert HD streams of the 2017/18 sea­son, recorded live in Cologne’s Philharmonie include:

Bruckner | Ligeti
Christian Tetzlaff, violin
Gürzenich-Orchester Köln
François-Xavier Roth, conductor

Bruckner’s 3rd Symphony is a piece where these seemingly contradictory aspects are especially obvious, particularly when one looks at the first version which is performed in Cologne. On one hand one can hear what he owes to Wagner, to whom he dedicated this symphony. On the other hand one can also hear the influences of the old German contrapuntal tradition. And then, there is this sometimes naive and very pure side of his invention. That is something François-Xavier Roth finds in Ligeti, too: musical invention on the highest abstract level and a wonderfully alienated folk aspect, obligations to an old form – in this case the concerto – but a total transformation of this model from a modern point of view. These are the reasons why these two pieces lie next to each other marvellously. On another level, the Ligeti Violin Concerto is a piece that belongs to the Cologne heritage: It was premiered by our neighbour orchestra, the WDR Symphony. It is rare that a city has two great orchestras who are at the same time so deeply involved with the contemporary creation.


Boulez | Beethoven | Bartók
Benjamin Grosvenor, piano
Gürzenich-Orchester Köln
François-Xavier Roth, conductor

To write an all-encompassing book that bears within itself a microcosm of the entire universe—that was the dream of the writer Stéphane Mallarmé. In his »Livre pour Cordes - 1968«, the young composer Pierre Boulez continued dreaming the dream. Developing from “Movements for String Quartet”, it grew and proliferated to a »Book for Strings« with which he opens a new chapter in the music of the past century. Beethoven performed his second concerto himself on the piano many times, and also developed it further before having the printed form published, an important step on the path to self-realisation. Béla Bartók sums up his pioneering oeuvre in his »solo for everyone«, the Concerto for Orchestra: spurred by the rhythmic energy of Hungarian folk music, animated by a musical language in which the elements of nature themselves begin to speak, formed by perfect compositional craft, he invites his listeners to an ecstatic dance on the volcano of the 20th century. The master of ceremonies for this programme with key works is General Music Director François-Xavier Roth himself. At his side: Benjamin Grosvenor, a very special pianist of the younger generation.
Debussy | Salonen | Bartók | Ligeti | Ravel
Nils Mönkemeyer, viola
Gürzenich-Orchester Köln,
Nicholas Collon, conductor

»Are these billowing waves the softness of air? Are these the fragrant vapours of pleasure?« Isolde’s words also come to mind with the lascivious sounds with which Claude Debussy commences his prelude to the »afternoon of a faun«. Like clouds of heavy perfume, the atmosphere of dream and desire, of regret and lust in the Arcadian realm begins to spread with the flute solo, thus setting the mood for Nicholas Collon’s first subscription concert; Collon is the Gürzenich Orchestra’s new First Guest Director. Besides the faun and nymphs from Debussy’s Prélude, two more famous couples from world literature appear: Daphnis and Chloé, and Tristan and Isolde. What they have in common is that the power of their love pushes boundaries—and that has also pushed music into new dimensions. Be it Ravel in the impressionist colour mixtures of his »choreographic symphony« or Wagner with his unresolved Tristan chord. Longing even plays into Bartók’s Viola Concerto in the form of a folk song, »For there is no med'cine for Love, neither meat, nor drink, nor any Charm ...« Nils Mönkemeyer will reach for the viola at this concert incl. Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Pentatonic Ètute, while György Ligeti, as always, reaches for the stars.

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