River Moldau from Má Vlast (My Country)
Šárka from Má Vlast (My Country)
Cello Concerto No. 1 in D major
Symphony No. 7 in D minor
Two young artists are making their Berliner Philharmoniker debut at this concert: the Argentine-French cellist Sol Gabetta and the Polish conductor Krzysztof Urbański. Sol Gabetta began her international career in 2004 as a prize-winner in the Crédit Suisse Young Artists Award. She excites audiences wherever she appears with the energy, passion yet unaffectedness of her playing. Krzysztof Urbański possesses both spirit and style, and has been acclaimed by the press as the most promising of the new generation of Polish conductors. Principal conductor of the Indianapolis and Trondheim Symphony orchestras, Urbański is an enthusiastic champion of his homeland’s music. For this concert, however, he has chosen works by Czech composers. Born in 1824, Bedřich Smetana is considered the founder of the Czech national style, who succeeded in achieving a unique synthesis between art music and folk elements. In his beloved orchestral cycle Má vlast (My Homeland), he created stirring musical portraits of his country’s natural beauty (The Moldau) and its legends (Šárka). Antonín Dvořák, 17 years his junior, continued along Smetana’s musical path, but in his often sombre and moody Seventh Symphony, composed for England, Dvořák allows himself few reminiscences of the Bohemian idiom. Bohuslav Martinů’s Cello Concerto No. 1, on the other hand, is a happy marriage of Czech folk music with 20th-century musical language.