Edinburgh RSNO Young Ambassador Scott Bathgate describes Metamorphosen in the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on Friday 24 October 2014.
On Friday the 24th of October, I was treated to what was a magnificent concert. This concert featured the works of Strauss with Metamorphosen, Beethoven with his Overture to Fidelio and Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra. Metamorphosen was a very emotional and inspired by very dark events in the composers life. Strauss began working on the piece after he heard there was a bombing (Strauss living in the time where his home city Munich in Germany was under the Nazi regime) on the historic opera house in Munich which he had known for 70 years. The music definitely reflects this pain as we are introduced to push string sections filled with beauty and slight dissonance. We were then treated to Beethoven's Overture to Fidelio.
Derived from Beethoven's only and unsuccessful opera, Beethoven composed the opera as he enjoyed and admired the work of Mozart's operas but he was critical of the immoral subject matter in works such as Cosi fan Tutte. A very impressive piece with a very vibrant and lively character. It went down a storm with the audience. Finally we are met with Bartok's Symphony for Orchestra. This being the longest piece on the programme was a very vast and very intricate piece. While the title may contradict itself, Bartok purposely titled this piece due to the way he uses all the instruments in the orchestra in a virtuosic and solo like manner. The piece is met with many ideas and motifs which develops throughout the entire piece. One notable point in the piece is when Bartok through compositional technique mocks Shostakovich's Leningrad Symphony, which he felt was getting way more attention than it should, in the fourth movement. The viola part introduces this theme very briefly before getting mocked by the loud sound of the brass. A very powerful piece which served as a suitable finale to the evening. I thoroughly enjoyed the night and so did the audience.
Scott is part of the RSNO's Young Ambassador scheme, arranged by the Learning and Engagement Department. All opinions expressed by Young Ambassadors are that of the individual and are not representative of the RSNO. For more information, visit the RSNO website.
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