Orchestre National de Lyon - Nielsen 4 & Maria João Pires plays Beethoven

Fri 15.12.23 20:00
€ 48 - 40 - 26 - 12

Bechara El-Khoury, Grand poème Alpestre pour cor et orchestre (world premiere)
Ludwig van Beethoven, Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major, Op. 58
Carl Nielsen, Symphony No. 4, Op. 29, FS 76, “The Inextinguishable”

For this exchange concert, the Orchestre National de Lyon comes to Bozar. Led by the Danish-Israeli conductor Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider, principal conductor of the Orchestre National de Lyon since the 2020-2021 season, horn player Guillaume Tétu will venture into a new work by the French-Lebanese composer Bechara El-Khoury. It is entitled Grand poème Alpestre pour cor et orchestre.

Beethoven premiered his Piano Concerto No. 4 in December 1808 at the end of a mammoth concert that spanned several hours at the Theater an der Wien. Other works on the programme included the Fifth and Sixth Symphonies, movements from his Mass in C major and some concert tunes. The second movement, the Andante, is said to have been inspired by the legend of Orpheus: at the gates of the underworld, the furies (the orchestra) rage against the singer (the piano), who is tormented by heartbreak and eventually wins.

The Orchestre National de Lyon closes this concert with the Fourth Symphony by Danish composer Carl Nielsen. He wrote this work during the First World War and subtitled it ‘The Inextinguishable’. He was referring to the will to live, an irrepressible life force that permeates the whole world and which, even in the midst of a horrific world war, cannot be extinguished. Moments of gentleness and sudden bursts of anger alternate abruptly in what is perhaps Carl Nielsen’s most dramatic work. The fourth and final movement is particularly impressive: two timpanists, one on the left and one on the right of the orchestra, engage in an aggressive duel. At the end, the will to live is gloriously asserted.


Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider, conductor
Maria João Pires, piano
Guillaume Tétu, horn
Orchestre National de Lyon


Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider

After an acclaimed first year at the helm, Nikolaj Szeps-Znaiders continues his Music Directorship of the Orchestre National de Lyon.

Maria João Pires

Born in 1944 in Lisbon, Maria João Pires gave her first public performance at the age of 4 and began her studies of music and piano with Campos Coelho and Francine Benoît, continuing later in Germa

Guillaume Tétu

Cor solo de l’Orchestre national de Lyon depuis 2009, Guillaume Tétu se consacre en parallèle à une active carrière de chambriste et soliste.