Adagio – Allegro
Menuetto and Trio: Allegro
October 21 2016 ~ 7:30 pm
First Church of Christ Congregational
830 Corbin Ave., New BritainOctober 23, 2016 ~ 3 pm
Cyril & Methodius Church
63 Popieluszko Court, Hartford
Admission by the suggested donation of $25
20 Years and Counting: CT Virtuosi Orchestra Commences Anniversary Season This Month
By Ethan Sadoian
Celebrating 20 years of making music across Connecticut and abroad, the Connecticut Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra commences its 20th anniversary season later this month with a concert featuring Joseph Haydn’s Symphony No. 104 in D Major and Felix Mendelssohn’s renowned Violin Concerto in E Minor.
Violinist Eckart Lorenzen, the featured soloist for the Mendelssohn Concerto, will be traveling all the way from Israel for the performance. Lorenzen, who was born in Germany but has lived in Israel for the last 20 years, has for the past three years been a faculty member at the CT Virtuosi’s Summer Music Institute, an international program for talented student musicians. “In 2014 [my wife and I] started to teach in the summer festival, and now it’s already the third year. And we love it a lot, this festival. It gives a lot of joy, and I think it’s a great festival which [CT Virtuosi artistic director Adrian Sylveen] has organized,” Lorenzen relates.
A glance at Lorenzen’s biography quickly establishes his impressive qualifications and career achievements. He is currently the concertmaster for the Israel Symphony Orchestra Rishon LeZion. He has won prizes in international competitions as a violinist, and in chamber music competitions with his wife, pianist Batia Steinbock-Lorenzen. He has collaborated with many musical artists and conductors who are world-renowned, but none more so than the conductor Herbert von Karajan, who Lorenzen performed under as a member of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra during the closing stages of Karajan’s storied life and career. Regardless of the controversies Karajan faced both during his life and after his death, he remains one of the most famous and important conductors of the 20th century. “In this period I knew [Karajan] quite good, and so also his character…. For me here today, he is the biggest conductor of all time. I really appreciate him the most of all conductors” Lorenzen says of his time under Karajan.
Felix Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E Minor is perhaps the composer’s most famous work. It is both innovative for its time, and yet a hallmark of the Romantic musical style. Achieving immediate popular and critical success at its premiere, it has established itself as a staple of the violin repertoire, and as such it is a musical work that Lorenzen has performed frequently, most recently in Beijing in 2015. “I’d played it already with many orchestras … and Adrian told me, ‘Some day, why don’t you play it with my orchestra?'”
Mendelssohn himself was born in Germany into a prominent Jewish family. Though he was baptized a Christian, he maintained a lifelong connection to his Jewish ancestry, and this is something that Lorenzen hopes to bring out in his performance of the Concerto: “I’ve lived in Israel already 20 years, and I’m very connected to Jewish music. [Mendelssohn has] a German side, a Christian side, but now I see a lot of the Jewish side of his composing … and I think in his Violin Concerto one can feel it in that there are so many lyrical parts which really show a lot of the Jewish side of Mendelssohn. The slow movement is really like a Jewish song. Just in the first movement he writes ‘Appassionato,’ with a lot of passion; maybe some of that Jewish passion which comes out already [at the beginning of the piece]. And I want to really pull that out, that side of the composition…. [Mendelssohn’s Concerto] has all these possibilities to make a big impression. I will give all the enthusiasm I can put into the music … and I think it will be a great start to the season.”
Adrian Sylveen, Conductor
Jill Maurer Davis