Belgian National Orchestra – Hugh Wolff conductor – Steven Isserlis cello
El cant dels ocells Catalan folk melody
Le carnaval romain, ouverture caractéristique, op. 9 Hector Berlioz
Concerto for Orchestra Tan Dun
Cello Concerto, op. 104 Antonín Dvořák
“Do you compose the music or does the music compose you?”, a southern Chinese monk once asked Tan Dun. And Tan only found the answer to this question when he composed his opera Marco Polo. Different sounds and musical cultures have guided him, throughout his life and work, as you can hear in Marco Polo, a musical fusion of orchestra, sitar, pipe and Tibetan ritual instruments. His Concerto for Orchestra was inspired by this opera; a journey from East to West, and a reference to his own life, as Tan Dun was born in a tiny village in southern China and currently lives and works in New York.
The Czech composer Antonin Dvořák also wrote his Cello Concerto in this metropolis, albeit 100 years earlier. It marked the end of his three-year tenure as director of the National Conservatory of Music – a remarkable school which admitted men, women and African-American students. But Dvořák also sought to achieve this diversity in his compositions, which was influenced by Czech folk music, Afro-American spirituals and indigenous American music. The world-famous cellist Steven Isserlis will travel to Brussels, where he will perform his interpretation of this intercultural concert.