Belgian National Orchestra
Ars Musica

‘FRANCESCO PIEMONTESI & BEETHOVEN’

14 Nov.'20
- 20:00

Triumph of reason

Anyone composing a piano concerto in Vienna at the end of the eighteenth century was working in the shadow of Mozart, who had just died. Even Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1, first performed in Vienna’s Burgtheater in April 1800, sounds strangely Mozartian. Despite this, the work is resoundingly successful, finding its own voice through the emphatic originality of certain passages. Loved by conductors and composers alike, the Piano Concerto No. 1 ushered in a new era, with Beethoven firmly at its fore.
No other genre troubled Beethoven as much as opera. It took him longer to compose the overture to his only opera, Fidelio, than it took Rossini and Donizetti to write a complete opera. Commissioned by the Belgian National Orchestra and in partnership with Ars Musica, the Belgian composer Jean-Paul Dessy has written a new work, taking Beethoven’s Fidelio as a starting point.
Having reached the pinnacle of musical success in the 1810s, Beethoven must have taken a dim view as Viennese tastes slowly but surely began to change, and Rossini’s light music met greater acclaim than his own elaborate compositions. Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8, a work brimming with ambiguous joyfulness, can be seen as an ironic response to the changing musical tastes of his contemporaries. The highly specific rhythmic elements of the second movement were apparently inspired by the invention of the metronome – a device patented by a friend of his.
 

Hugh Wolff

conductor

Francesco Piemontesi

piano

Soumaya Hallak

soprano

Programme
Ludwig van Beethoven

Piano Concerto no. 1, op. 15

Jean-Paul Dessy

Eva Ave Salve (World Premiere in collaboration with Ars Musica)

Ludwig van Beethoven

Symphony no. 8, op. 93

Festival

2020-2021

Ars Musica 2020

Practical information

Location

Henry Le Boeuf Hall

Rue Ravenstein 23 1000 BRUSSELS