Prague Sinfonia_Christian Benda_ Athenaeum_12.09

Romanian Atheneum - 5 pm
Series "Enescu and his contemporaries”
Soloist: Jean-Philippe Collard
Martinu -"Overture"
Enescu - Intermezzo for string orchestra op. 12
Stravinsky -"Pulcinella" Suite in c minor
Frank – Variations for piano and orchestra
Debussy – "Petite Suite"
......This was another good lesson of how a chamber orchestra should sound like. in the first part of the program I liked the Stravinsky piece. it was very unusual, as it was a combination of Pergolesi-like music and modern sounds. From time to time it seemed like the author is saying "Hey, it's still me here. But I loved that good old music that I thought I might use an idea or two". The second part was a true joy. Mr Collard played Frank with decission and elegance. And it was followed by an explosive Debussy. The audience liked it so much that the orchestra had to play more. First it was Beethoven's Coriolan Ouverture.
Here's a recording of this piece - Berliner Philharmoniker - Karajan

......And here's the second encore. The conductor asked "do you want more"? Sure. And it was Mozart - Marriage of Figaro Overture (in house recording :)

Jean-Philippe Collard and Christian Benda

More? all right.
It was Beethoven and Mozart

.....Conductor and composer Christian Benda appears in the major european music centers such as Paris, London, Rome, Bucharest, Vienna, Warsaw, Prague, Budapest, as well as Asia, North and South America.After his debut with the Prague Symphony Orchestra, invitations follow with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Moscow Virtuosi, Prague Chamber Orchestra, Stuttgart, Lausanne, Cannes Chamber Orchestras, Orchestre de Chambre d'Auvergne, Slovenian Philharmonic, Lviv, Münster, Janacek Philharmonics, Belgrade Symphony Orchestra, Polish National Opera Orchestra, Bucharest Radio Symphony, Shanghai Broadcast Symphony, Ulster Orchestra, etc. After a long collaboration with the Prague Chamber Orchestra, Christian Benda became also Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Prague Sinfonia Orchestra recently created by Vaclav Havel. With the Prague Sinfonia Orchestra he just recorded the complete Schubert Overtures.
......As a composer, Benda created the concept of micro-opera giving equal importance to the scenic and to the musical aspect. His compositions were premiered at the Wiener Konzerthaus and at the Smetana Hall in Prague with soprano Renee Fleming and have been filmed by the Czech Television during a concert in honor of President Vaclav Havel. His work "Ricercar Lux In Umbra" has just been premiered in Switzerland. He has been commissioned to write the film music for Vojtech Jasny's productions.
......Born in Brazil, Benda received his first musical training within his family, descendants of the Benda composers dynasty of the 18th century, where the musical tradition was maintained without interruption through three centuries. In the 18th century, the Benda composers were highly appreciated by Johann Sebastian Bach and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Mozart wrote to his father: "You know that among the lutheran "Kapellmeister" Benda always was my favorite; I like his works so much that I always bring them along with me."

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