Symphonic Summit

November 22 & 23, 2023 at 7:30 p.m.
Philharmonie Mercatorhalle, Duisburg

In his long and extremely successful life as a composer, Joseph Haydn composed an incredible number of over 100 symphonies. This huge canon of works not only played a decisive role in developing the genre of the symphony, but also elevated it to the pinnacle of orchestral music. A milestone in this development are Haydn's “London Symphonies,” which he composed for two cycles of guest performances in the English capital for enthusiastic audiences: with an almost serene mastery, Haydn shows himself here at the absolute peak of his symphonic skills.

Not much later Haydn's younger colleague Ludwig van Beethoven plunged the genre into a deep crisis with his 9th Symphony. The addition of vocal parts into the sphere of absolute and therefore purely instrumental symphonic music was an outrageous violation of the rules. Richard Wagner even proclaimed it to be the end of the entire genre and composers such as Franz Liszt and Richard Strauss sought a way out of this dilemma through the new form of symphonic poems. Or to put it another way: storytelling with purely instrumental music. In the case of the “Alpine Symphony,” Strauss and his gigantic orchestral cast take us on a sublime mountain climb in the alpine foothills of Bavaria.

Before and after the concert, the musicians of the Duisburger Philharmoniker and Orchester des Wandels invite you to “summit” discussions about the beauty and danger of the mountain worlds.



Joseph Haydn: Symphony No. 99 in E flat major Hob. I:99
Richard Strauss: An Alpine Symphony op. 64

Axel Kober, conductor
Duisburg Philharmonic Orchestra

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