Academy
Daniele Gatti
Daniele Gatti
LXXXIII Festival del Maggio - Opening concert
LXXXIII Festival del Maggio - Opening concert
April 26, 2021
April 26, 2021
We kindly ask the audience to please read the COVID-19 informations about tickets and seats   

Igor Stravinskij
Symphony of Psalms
Symphony in C

Thanks to Kuehne+Nagel for the support



The concert will be live on Rai Radio 3
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The inaugural concert of the LXXXIII Festival of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino opens in the name of Stravinsky, whose fiftieth anniversary of his death is commemorated this year. The number fifty also connects the works scheduled in the program, the Symphony of Psalms and the Symphony in C, both dedicated to the glory of God and both destined to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the foundation of two great American orchestras, respectively the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Igor Stravinsky - Symphony of Psalms
It was 1930 when the Boston Symphony Orchestra called upon the major composers of the time to create new works to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the orchestra's foundation. Igor Stravinsky responded to the invitation by creating the Symphony of Psalms, a symphonic-choral page "composed for the glory of God", as reported in the dedication in the score, on texts taken from the Psalms of the Vulgate. The term symphony is understood by Stravinsky in the etymological meaning of a set of heterogeneous sounds. The Symphony of Psalms is in fact constructed as a sonorous polyptych that shows no link with the classical symphony: no thematic development, no pre-established rules to follow for the construction of the times but full freedom in the choice of forms, style and writing. The orchestral staff employed shows significant absences: in fact, there are no violins and violas in the string section and clarinets in the wind section. The result is a drier and darker sound which, in the author's intentions, is best suited to a page of profound religious inspiration. The first movement (Exaudi orationem meam) is a song of supplication characterized by the repeated use of the minor second interval, full of anguish and pathos. In the second movement Stravinsky shows off his counterpoint ability in the most daring form of the Baroque tradition. The song of thanksgiving to the Lord (Expectans expectavi Domine) is built on a double fugue - the first instrumental, the second choral - where the grafting of the second fugue onto the first gives life to a complex polyphonic interweaving. The concluding movement is a hymn of praise (Laudate Dominum) where moments of static solemnity alternate with episodes of barbaric rhythmic violence (in the style of the first Stravinsky) up to the end, where the circular motif of the initial Allelujah returns and fades softly in the last chord in C major.

Igor Stravinsky - Symphony in C
"This Symphony, composed in the Glory of God, is dedicated to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of its foundation". With these words Stravinsky dismissed his Symphony in C in August 1940, a symphony in the classical sense of the term in which the author adopted the form and procedures typical of the main genre of Western instrumental music. The genesis of the work was rather troubled and committed the author several times over the course of two years. The first two movements saw the light in France, respectively in the autumn of 1938 and in the summer of 1939, in the most tragic period of the composer's life who in a few months lost his daughter, wife and mother. Stravinsky threw himself headlong into music and finished the opera the following year in America, where he made the third and fourth movements. Although respectful of the traditional canon, the Symphony in C reveals the innovative spirit of its author and thus those classical stylistic features that hover in the first and second movements (the references to Beethoven and Haydn pointed out by Stravinsky himself) inevitably intersect in the meshes of a modern writing made up of irregular phrasing, rhythmic mismatches and unusual timbral combinations. A simple motif of only three notes enunciated by the strings in the first movement (Moderato alla breve) is the seed from which the entire symphonic discourse sprouts, a sort of motto that will serve as the glue between the first and last movement. The second movement (Larghetto concertante) in tripartite form highlights the sonorities of the oboes with a crystalline design that is disturbed only in the central section. The third movement (Allegretto), on the other hand, has all the appearance of a Scherzo in which dance rhythms are launched at full speed with continuous changes of meter. In the finale (Largo. Tempo proprio, in the short) the initial motto reappears in the serious choral of bassoons and brass that welds and closes the work according to the principle of cyclic form.