Betsy Jolas’ Quatuor VII avec trumpet – Afterthoughts – for trumpet, violin, viola and cello, has been commissioned by Malmö Chamber Music for Håkan Hardenberger. “With this setup, I had to try to find a way to deal with the dominant ‘personality’ of the trumpet and to balance the instruments. This was beneficial, but also demanded much reflection, so the piece has also been given the title Afterthoughts,” says Betsy Jolas about Afterthoughts.
The concert begins with Fanfare, by the festival composer Mark-Anthony Turnage, who really likes concert openers. But he thinks they should not be clean and academic, but instead a little messy. “I really don’t like ‘well-behaved’ fanfares, the kind with smooth polyphony and smart little harmonious digressions.” Turnage instead attracts the listener with his cleverly-styled mix of classic impulses, such as Beethoven, as well as jazz and modernism.
Debussy’s famous Syrinx for solo flute was written for a drama by Gabriel Mourey, in which Pan, with his flute, falls in love with the nymph Syrinx. Initially, Debussy is said to have omitted all the bar lines, to emphasise the soloist’s freedom to shape both the rhythm and the melody.
As a result of encouragement from his publisher, he started what would become one of his last major compositional projects: six sonatas for different instruments. But he only made it half way through them before he died in 1918. The sonatas for flute, viola and harp, violin and piano and this one for cello and piano were completed. His musical source of inspiration included the French 18th century composers François Couperin and Jean-Philippe Rameau. At the same time, he was heavily influenced, and appalled, by the horrors of the ongoing world war.
We also get to hear his string quartet in g-minor. The quartet is traditionally set with four movements. Within this well-known form, Debussy has created musical gold with lyrically affectionate melodies, rhythmic challenges and surprising harmonies.
Just three years earlier, Puccini, best known for its operas, composed the intensely beautiful elegy Crisantemi – chrysanthemum. According to him, he wrote it while feeling like he was in a trance, during a single enchanted night.
Håkan Hardenberger © Marco Borggreve
TUE 18 SEP 6 p.m. Palladium Malmö
Mark-Anthony Turnage Fanfare (from all sides)
Gustav Melander, Matteo Battistoni, Emil Käck, Elvira Broberg, Lucas Lipari-Mayer, Axel Andersson, Erik Hultstrand Ahlin, Ilari Pälli, trumpet
Claude Debussy Syrinx
Mathilde Calderini, flute
Betsy Jolas Quatuor VII avec trompette – Afterthoughts First performance!
Håkan Hardenberger, trumpet; Emmanuel Tjeknavorian, violin; Lise Berthaud, viola; Andreas Brantelid, cello
Claude Debussy Cello sonata D Minor
Andreas Brantelid, cello; Roger Muraro, piano
Giacomo Puccini Crisantemi
Claude Debussy String Quartet G Minor, Op. 10
Tickets: 340 SEK; students and children up to and including 17 years of age: 170 SEK
This concert is part of the Festival Package