Beijing Music Festival presents unique and quality works in the Chinese capital every year. This year, celebrating the 150th anniversary of the birth of Richard Strauss, the festival closed on Friday with a tribute to the late German Romantic composer.
"Thus Spoke Zarathustra," the opening theme kicked off the concert with Orchestra de Paris under the baton of Paavo Jarvi. Immediately, it filled the concert hall with infinite space. In this symphonic poem, Strauss hopes to depict humanity not in search for eternity, but rather struggling to transcend religious beliefs. Yet in the process, the music seems to discover something even more powerful.
Beijing Music Festival closed on Friday with a tribute to the late German Romantic composer.
"Thus Spoke Zarathustra," the opening theme kicked off the concert with Orchestra de Paris under the baton of Paavo Jarvi.
German composer Richard StraussRichard Strauss was one of the most versatile and talented composers of his generation, equally at ease in the concert hall, recital hall, ballet, cinema, and the opera house. His artistic career spanned nearly eight decades, and he composed in virtually all musical genres.
"Burleske" in D minor for piano and orchestra was composed in 1885. Meant to demystify the symphonic medium, the composer juggles with the piano and orchestra as if they were light as feathers.
"Strauss was a very passionate composer, a brilliant writer, orchestrator. He wrote very sensual, passionate and refined music. He's best known for his operas, his symphonic poems, there are also some chamber music and of course many songs. For the Piano he didn't write that much. This is a yong piece, and I think this is a special piece. You can already see the brilliance of his musical personalities," says Nicholas Angelich, a pianist.
Born in the US in 1970, Nicholas Angelich began studying the piano at the age of five with his mother. At the age of seven, he gave his first concert with Mozart's Concerto number 21 in C Major, K. 467. Eight years later, he entered the Conservtoire National Superieur de Musique in Paris, where he has lived for over thirty years. Touring frequently around the world, Angelich says.
"Everthing in your life influences you as an artist. In a way that's very good. Sometimes, it's very difficult to live like that but it's something we always have to learn and try to develop. After a while, you feel like a gypsy, which is not bad, but you have to try to find your own truth," he says.
Now in its 16th year, the annual Beijing Music Festival brings leading artists in classical music to the Beijing stage, while also hosting master classes, community outreach concerts and community and education activities. And it's drawn many fans who are serious about classical music.
"Richard Strauss's music is not widely performed in China, so I really wanted to see it in concert," says a woman.
"I used to be an opera singer, so for me this is not my repertoire to sing, but it's my repertoire to love," says a man.
While the Chinese audience has seen hundreds of performances of Beethoven, Mozart and Wagner, few are familiar with the works of Richard Strauss. The Beijing Music Festival hopes that this closing concert dedicate to Richard Strauss will not only please the audience but educate and inspire them as well.