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Avi Avital will interpret Jennifer Higdon’s concert for mandolin and orchestra at Alte Oper in Frankfurt

Monday, 6 November 2023 , ora 11.03

The concert that will be held by Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra and broadcasted live by Radio România Muzical on Friday, November 10th, 2023, at 9 p.m., will be directed by Polish director Krzysztof Urbañski at Alte Oper, a historical concert hall, which was built in 1880 in the city built on Main river.

A musician with unconventional tendencies, who was described by the American press as "far from being a statue on stage," Krzysztof Urbañski offers a program with combines both contemporary pieces from the 20th and 21st centuries, as well as romantic music.

The first piece of the concert will be the Krzesany piece, composed in 1974 by Wojciech Kildar, a Polish composer known especially for the soundtrack of The Pianist movie, directed by Roman Polanski, for which he received the César prize in 2002.

Krzesanyis a Polish dance specific to mountainous regions, changed into a symphonic movement by Wojciech Kilar; you will hear the sound of sparks when the dancers kick their heels, which have become incredibly expressive sounds.

The next piece scheduled in the program, Concerto for Mandolin and Orchestra by Jennifer Higdon, will bring Jewish interpreter Avi Avital to the spotlight. An exceptional mandolin player, Avital has been compared with Andres Segovia and Jascha Heifetz for his amazingly virtuous character.

"Incredibly charismatic," as the New York Times describes him, Avi Avital refreshed the mandolin repertoire by asking his current composers to write pieces, including concerts, for him, which he then showcased in exceptional first auditions. More than 100 works were written for him, among which Anna Clyne's, Avner Dorman's, David Bruce's, Giovanni Sollima's mandolin and orchestra concerts, or Jennifer Higdon's Concerto for Mandolin and Orchestra, which we will hear on Friday, November 10th.

Pyotr Illyich Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4 in F minor, Op. 36 will be the last piece on the program. Tchaikovsky's work, specifically this symphony, together with Eugene Onegin opera, has the same unforgiving destiny called "fatality" by Tchaikovsky, a force which denies man's right to happiness.

The end of the symphony becomes brighter. Here are Tchaikovsky's words about this switch to good cheer: "If you cannot find in yourself reasons for joy, look at other people. Rejoice in others' happiness!"

Photo credit: Dani Miller

Laura Ana Mânzat
Translated by Denisa Stanciu,
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year II
Corrected by Silvia Petrescu