First Symphony Concert

Hans Zender Kalligraphie II & IV
Johannes Brahms Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77
Johannes Brahms Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98

The first symphony concert of the new season is dedicated to Hans Zeder, who celebrates his 80th birthday in 2016. “Our distinctive way of thinking has become enormously refined in all areas of modern life; why should music be any exception?”, Hans Zender reflected on the meticulous microtonal work that went into his “Kalligraphien”. Like an Eastern scribe painstakingly re-writing traditional aphorisms over and over again, a lot of Zender’s oeuvre focuses on transferring core material – such as melodies from the Gregorian Liturgy – to music in various forms and guises.

Wiesbaden’s former General Music Director, Zsolt Hamar, now returns as guest to continue the popular Brahms cycle which he initiated with the Hessian State Orchestra in 2012. Brahms wrote the bulk of his Fourth Symphony in the summer of 1884 in Mürzzuschlag. “The cherries don’t ever get to be sweet and edible in this part of the world,” he said, adding that something of their bitter flavour was to be found in his new symphony. Nevertheless, the premiere was a success. Utilising the smallest musical ideas and motifs, Brahms weaves a compelling dramatic tapestry, creating music which violinist Joseph Joachim described as having such a profound effect on him, that he believed it to be his favourite among the four symphonies. Fittingly, Brahms dedicated his only Violin Concerto to Joachim, who was the soloist at its premiere in 1879. This evening’s soloist is young Hungarian violinist Barnabás Kelemen, winner of the prestigious Hungarian Kossuth Prize in 2012. He is a regular soloist with Europe’s major orchestras and conductors such as Zoltán Kocsis and Iván Fischer.


Conductor Zsolt Hamar


19:00 Uhr Pre-concert Talk in the Friedrich-von-Thiersch Hall