Next Friday during the next INTERNET CONCERT you can listen to Ludwig van Beethoven’s overture “Zur Namensfeier” Op. 115 and Ignacy Jan Paderewski’s Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 17 performed by Szymon Nehring and Poznan Philharmonic Orchestra led by maestro Marek Pijarowski.

We encourage you to read the introduction to the program of the concert held in Konzerthaus Berlin on the 23rd of October 2018.

Ludwig van Beethoven – overture “Zur Namensfeier” Op. 115 (dedicated to Prince Antoni Radziwiłł)

Ludwig van Beethoven completed his symphonic overture “Zur Namensfeier” in 1815. The subtitle refers to the feast of Saint Francis of Assisi, which fell on the name day of Franz the 1st, emperor of Austria (the 4th of October). Though the premiere performance was scheduled for October, the overture resounded for the first time on Christmas 1815. In the initial theme we can hear the motives from “ Ode to Joy” from the 9th Symphony, composed 9 years later. The musical piece was dedicated to the Polish Prince Antoni Radziwiłł, whose figure is worth recalling. He was a politician, musician, patron of artists, viceroy of the Grand Duchy of Poznan and was regarded as the most prominent representative of Polish-Prussian political orientation in the 19th century. He was sure that his kinship with the Prussian reigning House (in 1796 he married Frederica Dorothea Louise Hohenzollern, daughter of Augustus Ferdinand, who was the brother of Frederick II the Great – King of Prussia) would obligate him to active conciliation between the Poles and the Prussian authorities. His plans of the Poles taking the side of Prussia against Napoleon and of inducing Prince Józef Poniatowski to support Prussia and Russia in 1813 failed. Antoni Radziwiłł was also a composer, cellist, guitar player and singer, and his palace in Berlin served as a center of musical, literary and theatrical life. His circle of friends included Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Ludwig van Beethoven and the parents of Felix Mendelssohn. In his hunting lodge in Antonin near Ostrów Wielkopolski he hosted Frédéric Chopin twice, who dedicated him his Trio in G minor for Piano, Violin and Cello. Whereas Felix Mendelssohn presented Radziwiłł his first piece. Radziwiłł also became a part of the History of Music – he was the first to write the music to “Faust” by Goethe, which was admired by Chopin himself.

Ignacy Jan Paderewski – Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 17

Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 17 by Ignacy Jan Paderewski is one of the most popular pieces not only in the artistic output of the composer, but also in the Polish Piano literature. He composed the first excerpts of the piece in his twenties, and the whole Concert was written in six years in different places – Zakopane, Cracow, Vienna, Paris. The premiere performance took place in Vienna in the beginning of 1889, with the interpretation of the pianist Anetta Yesipova, the second one – a few weeks later in Warsaw. The piece is filled with beautiful melodic line, subtly expressed emotionality, clear texture and transparent structure, with an exposed virtuosity of solo piano part at the same time. The first movement, Allegro, has the sonata-allegro form, second, Romanza, refers to a song structure, while the final Allegro molto vivace features the form of rondo – the last movement closes with a festive chorale. Ignacy Jan Paderewski (1860-1941), in his time seen as the hope of Polish composition, mostly dealt with piano performances, as well as patriotic, social and political activity, working hard to regain Polish independence. He is remembered as a prominent artist and a statesman. Besides Piano Concerto, he also wrote Polish Fantasy for Piano and Orchestra, monumental Symphony in B minor “Polonia” (1907), Manru opera, songs for voice and piano and numerous piano works – the most famous are Minuet, Polish Dances, Variations and Fugue in A minor and Tatra Album.

Justyna Kroschel