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The Moscow State Symphony Orchestra invites connoisseurs of beauty to attend concerts of its title subscription “PAVEL KOGAN: GOLDEN SERIES”. The programs of the cycle include the greatest compositions from the treasury of world musical classics. All the concerts are conducted by the Music Director and Chief Conductor of the orchestra Pavel Kogan - People's Artist and Laureate of the State Prize of Russia, whose contribution to art has been awarded the most prestigious international awards. Under his direction, a well-recognized in the world performing style of the collective was formed, in which a wide repertoire is combined with a refined depth of interpretation and virtuosity of performance.
For the 2020/2021 season, the subscription highlights the figures of true geniuses who have left a distinct mark on history of culture. Sergei Prokofiev, the Viennese Strauss’ family, Moses Weinberg, Antonin Dvořák and Johannes Brahms invariably symbolize in our imagination their own contradictory, but attractive era.
The final concert of the subscription will present the work of the Czech composer, representative of romanticism - Antonín Dvorak (Dvořák), in whose works motifs and elements of folk music of Moravia and Bohemia are widely used, as well as the work of the German composer and pianist, one of the central representatives of the era of romanticism - Johannes Brahms.
In Austria-Hungary, which included the Czech Republic in the 19th century, there was a special scholarship from the Ministry of Culture and Education for talented young poor composers. Unfortunately, the composers who applied for it, most of the three required qualities had only two - young age and poverty - the more pleasant it was for the jury to consider the works presented by Antonin Dvorak. He applied for this scholarship twice, for the second time Johannes Brahms was a member of the jury. He was interested in the works of the young author, and he offered some of them to a large Berlin publishing house, headed by Fritz Simrock. The revenue from the sale of Dvorak's “Moravian Duets” exceeded all expectations and prompted Simrock to continue working with him.
The piece, which Simrock ordered to Dvorak, was to become a suite for home piano playing in four hands, like Brahms' Hungarian Dances. The name of the new collection - "Slavonic Dances" - belongs to Simrock. Dvorak creates "Slavonic Dances" for piano, but since he thought more in terms of orchestral timbres, he almost immediately starts to orchestrate them.
Although the definition given by the author to his work is quite broad - "Slavonic dances" basically have features characteristic of one particular Slavonic people: the Czechs. Antonín Dvorak was familiar with Czech musical folklore, because he spent his childhood in the countryside. This allowed him to create melodies in the national manner, almost without resorting to quoting folklore samples. The only exceptions are two dances - it is noteworthy that the folk melody quoted in one of them is not of Czech but of Ukrainian origin.
The suite, built on the principle of contrast, consists of eight multifarious dance pieces. Dvorak does not give them genre definitions, such as waltz or polka. This is due, among other things, to the fact that some of pieces combine the features of different dances. However, in some cases, the genre seems to be quite definite. So, the piece that opens the suite is definitely a furiant. The name of this Czech dance is translated as "obstinate". This is an exceptionally cheerful piece with the characteristic alternation of three-beat and two-beat patterns of a furiant.
Brahms' “Hungarian Dances” is one of the composer's most popular and spectacular works. Their appearance is associated with the creative union of Brahms and the Hungarian violinist E. Remenyi. Performing with Remenyi as his accompanist, Brahms was imbued with the beauty of the Hungarian national melodies that were part of the violinist's repertoire. Subsequently, this was reflected in the work of Brahms - in his famous "Hungarian Dances" which used the specific melodic turns and rhythms of Hungarian folk music.
Hungarian dances are based on the direction of Hungarian music - Verbunkos, which means recruiting. Originating in the 18th century, this trend of instrumental music combines Hungarian influences with influences from Gypsy, Slavic, Italian and Viennese traditions.
This music accompanied the recruitment of soldiers in the 18th century. Verbunkos is the basis of the Hungarian national dances, palotas and czardas, developed in the instrumental music of Brahms.