Arabella Steinbacher & Korngold - Larcher
Franz Schubert, Symphony No. 8 in B minor “Unfinished” (D759)
Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35
Thomas Larcher, Symphony No. 2 “Kenotaph” (Belgian premiere)
Vagueness? Negligence? We have no idea why Franz Schubert never completed his Symphony No. 8. Traditionally, a symphony has four movements, and yet Schubert only composed two of these customary four movements. But is something ever really finished? As Leonardo da Vinci famously said, "art is never finished, only abandoned". And Schubert’s Eighth? It will be performed as it is, in its unfinished state. And, though unfinished, it is beautiful nonetheless.
The Austrian composer Erich Korngold emigrated to America to escape Nazism. He built a career in Hollywood as a film composer. His father, the famous music critic Julius Korngold, considered this a waste of his talent and kept urging his son to write ‘serious music’ again. It was only during the year of his father’s death, the same year in which Nazism was defeated, that Erich complied and completed a violin concerto that had been haunting him for some time. Korngold’s Violin Concerto breathes the atmosphere of fin de siècle Vienna, has a vast instrumentation and is able, in terms of orchestration, to compete with the best works of Gustav Mahler and Richard Strauss.
Besides Schubert and Korngold, this concert also presents a Belgian premiere by the Austrian composer Thomas Larcher. His Symphony No. 2 consists of four movements and has a classical structure. The title ‘Kenotaph’ (cenotaph: a tomb for the dead whose remains cannot be found) is a tribute to the many refugees who drowned in the Mediterranean Sea in 2016. A monument created from sounds, a drama without words.
Eva Ollikainen, conductor
Arabella Steinbacher, violin
Performed with the support of the Tax Shelter of the Belgian federal government.