A contemporary composition in its world premiere performance, one of the most famous and virtuosic pages for violin and orchestra in the Romantic repertoire and a famous late-Romantic symphony linked to our country. These are the “ingredients” of the opening concert of the 2023 Symphonic Season of the Teatro Comunale di Bologna, scheduled for Wednesday, February 8th at 8.30 p.m. in the Auditorium Manzoni, featuring violinist Stefan Milenkovich as soloist with the Orchestra of Teatro Comunale di Bologna and it musical director Oksana Lyniv, fresh from the opera opening with Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer.
The evening kicks off to the notes of the Passacaglia in Yellow-Blue by Russian-German composer Vladimir Genin, written in 2022 and presented here for the first time. To explain the reason for the name ‘Yellow-Blue’, Genin says that ‘at the same time there is a touch of blues melancholy in the rhythm and melody of the piece (Passacaglia in Blue). The title also refers to the colours of the Ukrainian flag, blue as the sky and yellow as the wheat, because the sentiment of this work is deeply connected to the horror and sadness that constantly accompany my life since the Russian aggression of Ukraine began in 2014.”
A former enfant-prodige of the violin with close ties to Italy, where he has been performing since he was a child, a virtuoso engaged on stages such as New York’s Carnegie Hall or London’s Cadogan Hall, named Serbian artist of the century and also committed to humanitarian causes, receiving the accolade of ‘Most Human Person’ in Belgrade, Stefan Milenkovich returns to play for the Comunale audience. And he does so with one of the most challenging and spectacular pieces of the Russian repertoire: the Concert for Violin and Orchestra in D major op. 35 by Pyotr Il’ič Tchaikovsky. Composed in 1877 and dedicated to the well-known Hungarian soloist Leopold Auer, the Concerto was “declared absolutely unplayable by various Russian violin authorities” and was panned by the most influential music critic of the time, Eduard Hanslick, but this did not halt the fame it achieved.
The first symphonic concert in Bologna of the season closes with Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy’s Symphony No. 4 in A major ‘Italiana’, and its characteristic Saltarello del Finale, a work that arose from the journey from Venice to Rome that the German composer – 21 years old at the time – made in Italy between 1830 and 1831 in the wake of his compatriots Goethe and Heine.
The concert is made possible thanks to Intesa Sanpaolo, Main Partner of the 2023 Symphonic Season of the Teatro Comunale di Bologna.