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This Iceland Symphony concert features Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, one of the most revered orchestral works of the twentieth century, as well as one of the most influential — a composition that Pierre Boulez called the “birth certificate of contemporary music.” The music is tense and powerful, with strident chords and unexpected rhythms, yet with many melodies taken from Russian and Lithuanian folk songs. The work describes a sacred ritual in which one of a group of virgins is selected to dance herself to death, ensuring the arrival of spring.
In recent years, Daníel Bjarnason has established himself as one of Iceland’s premier musicians. Bow to String was written for the Icelandic cellist Sæunn Þorsteinsdóttir, and has received rave reviews in recent years. This will be the first Icelandic performance of the work in a version for cello and symphony orchestra. The programme begins with Arvo Pärt’s tranquil and beautiful Fratres, one of his loveliest works, a hypnotic set of variations on a six-bar theme. The programme begins with Arvo Pärt’s tranquil and beautiful Fratres, one of his loveliest works, a hypnotic set of variations on a six-bar theme.
Program change: Unfortunately Pekka Kuusisto had to cancel his performance of Daníel Bjarnason’s Violin Concerto due to an arm injury. In his place we welcome Sæunn Þorsteinsdóttir who performs Bow to String by Daníel Bjarnason.
The concert will be streamed live on Iceland Symphony’s website, en.sinfonia.is.
Arvo Pärt Fratres
Daníel Bjarnason Bow to String
Igor Stravinsky The Rite of Spring