Members from the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra. Photo: Mats Lundqvist
Herbert Blomstedt conducts
Symphonies by Arthur Honegger and Johannes Brahms.
Thursday 22 September 2022 19.00Ends approximately 21.00
Herbert Blomstedt is the absolute biggest Swedish conductor of the modern era. He has conducted the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra well over 200 times since his debut in 1954. He is an international great, having worked with the Dresden Staatskapelle, Gewandhausorchester in Leipzig, Berlin Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris and above all, the San Francisco Symphony, where he spent a decade as chief conductor. In conjunction with his 90th birthday, when he conducted the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Konserthuset Stockholm named its large conductor’s dressing room after him. He turns 95 this year.
At this welcome return, he leads the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra in Arthur Honegger’s third symphony, composed shortly after World War II. Here, in perhaps his best known work, Honegger describes human joy and despair. The music can be interpreted as a journey from brutality to hope and peace.
Brahms’ fourth and final symphony is infused with melancholic anxiety. It also undergoes a transformation, from difficult twilight to dark night. The fact that Brahms’ symphonic role model was Beethoven is well known and is also evident in the fourth symphony. But this does not mean imitation. The last movement is a dense and striking passacaglia, in which a recurring line of melody in the bass part forms the foundation for the dramatic, passionate finale.
The musicApproximate times
Arthur Honegger Symphony No. 3 ’’Symphonie Liturgique’’33 min
Johannes Brahms Symphony No. 442 min
- Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
- Herbert Blomstedt conductor