Die Düsseldorfer Symphoniker im Konzert SCHOSTAKOWITSCH 12


Ouverture c-Moll zu "Coriolan" op. 62
Konzert für zwei Klaviere und Orchester Es-Dur K 365 (K 316a)
Symphonie Nr. 12 d-moll op. 112 «Das Jahr 1917»



Concert Program
Beethoven: Overture “Coriolan” in C minor, Op.62
Mozart: Concerto for Two Pianos in E flat major, K.365 (K.316a)
Shostakovich: Symphony No.12 in D minor, Op.112 “The Year 1917”
With Düsseldorfer Symphoniker and Mari & Momo Kodama

I stayed in Düsseldorf, Germany for a week to perform with the Düsseldorfer Symphoniker.
I took a midnight flight leaving the Haneda airport to arrive there in the morning and, two hours after the arrival, I rehearsed the orchestra. Surprisingly, this schedule was not too difficult.
Recently I’ve seldom conducted overseas orchestras (there are various reasons for that but I myself am not dissatisfied, I will write about this in detail at a later date). But as the (above mentioned) program was attractive for me and my mission was to lead the orchestra for only three concerts at the same hall, I decided to get off my rear and go (indeed, my rear was not heavy, but my muscles were weak and stiff, and my throat was very dry) to Germany.
And in a nutshell, I’m happy with this decision!
Most of the orchestra members’ active attitude towards the music was impressive. Also, we had enough time to exchange views during our rehearsals.
Though, a problem occurred.
After the first day we rehearsed a lot, the next morning the orchestra manager came to see me, saying “bad news…”. He continued: “The principal concert master cannot play because of the pain on his left thumb, and he must rest for a month”.
I know sometimes this kind of announcement has something behind. But I inquired into the state of affairs and understood that this young serious violinist from Romania (I like people from Romania) have pain, truly.
The orchestra manager said he could immediately invite a good violinist from other orchestra for a replacement, but I refused his proposal for some reasons. In the end, this decision brought a good result: I admire my own intuition as an aged conductor……
Our program was to mark 100 years since the Russian Revolution, with a quite acute vision looking back the second Russian Revolution occurred in 1917.
On the day of each concert before the performance, the orchestra director gave a lecture about the program (in the foyer on the first day and on stage for the rest of two days). Of course, he mentioned that “Stalin motif” I had discovered in collaboration with the Russian music expert Ms. Hitotsuyanagi (I’m proud of that!) I felt in every case that this orchestra director, handsome figure, is a competent person. (This post is very important as it embodies the orchestra in a flash. It’s a pity that Japanese orchestras rarely employ their director at a high salary. That’s wrong!)
For me it was the third time to play at their round concert hall where the stage is surrounded by the audience. It’s unsuitable for Shostakovich’s symphonies, because his music sounds the best when it’s played in a shoe box-shaped hall where the audience and the orchestra face each other. The Hibiya Public Hall is the best one for me…
However, this Tonhalle Düsseldorf hall, originally built as the biggest planetarium in the world, provides a really voluminous sound. During the rehearsals I saw a certain number of musicians wearing earplugs. Ha-ha-ha!
In any case, the quintessence of Shostakovich’s 12th Symphony doesn’t consist of the sound volume but of the continuity, tension and narrative. Regularly performing operas in the pit, the members of the Düsseldorfer Symphoniker banded themselves in one direction, at least this time. In the first half of the concert, for example, the flow from the clear-cut “Coriolan” overture with a small orchestra to Mozart’s “Concerto for Two Pianos” (this piece is quite difficult, as it becomes, with an ordinary approach, extremely boring) with the Kodama sisters was great. In addition, the oboe and bassoon sections were stable. In particular, the third day’s performance was very musical.
Fortunately, the weather was very nice during my stay. Only thing I could do except conducting was walking past a park on the way to the rehearsal place and the hall… but I think it was fine like this.
In my twenties, thirties and forties, when I was invited by European orchestras, I think I was putting the cart before the horse… I mean, I was always walking around the city crazily in my free time to see historical sites and then got too tired to study sufficiently many scores new to me (because I was young at the time) before a drowsy feeling stole over me.
But if I try to remember those days more clearly, I unexpectedly was more serious than I think. I was staring at scores in my hotel room for hours. Furthermore, the height of the classical music’s season is the dark and cold winter, which was not good at all for my health.
Ah…… this reminiscence……reminds me of myself of those days, constantly looking for beautiful women everywhere, both in orchestras and cities. I should probably (?) reflect on that……


ショスタコーヴィチの魂が疾走する! 井上道義の才気が炸裂する! これぞショスタコーヴィチの真髄!


1冊でわかるポケット教養シリーズ 指揮者の世界