Symphonic Hour - Mussorgsky & González-Monjas plays and conducts Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Violin Concerto No. 4 in D major, K. 218
Modest Mussorgsky, Pictures at an Exhibition (arr. Maurice Ravel)
PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION
Our first guest conductor Roberto González-Monjas began his career as a violin soloist, concertmaster and chamber musician. Today, in addition to being a conductor, he is still active as a violinist. Sometimes he plays and conducts at the same time, as in his sensational recording of Mozart’s Seventh Serenade with the Musikkollegium Winterthur. In this concert, he performs - as violinist and musical director - Mozart’s Fourth Violin Concerto, a work the Austrian composer wrote in 1776 while in the service of the archbishops of Salzburg.
Pictures at an Exhibition is Mussorgsky’s most famous work. The reason for writing this piano cycle was an exhibition of works by the Russian painter and architect Viktor Hartmann, a close friend of Mussorgsky who had died suddenly. Ten sketches served as the inspiration for as many compositions. He linked them with “promenades”: short compositions that depict the way the composer moves from one work to another. A gnome opens the show, after which begins an imaginative journey through children squabbling in the Tuileries Garden, a ballet of half-hatched chicks, dark catacombs and Baba Yaga’s hut on chicken legs. The show ends with The Great Gate of Kiev, a virtuoso masterpiece for pianists brilliantly arranged by Maurice Ravel (whose orchestration of Pictures at an Exhibition is played in this concert). Another special feature of Ravel’s arrangement is the use of saxophones, especially for the setting of the second picture: Il vecchio castello.
Roberto González-Monjas, conductor and violin
© Photo by Marco Borggreve
Highly sought-after as a conductor and violinist, Roberto González-Monjas is rapidly making a mark on the international scene.