Hundred Fifty Kilogram Church Bell Especially for Belgrade Philharmonic Concert

Chief Conductor Gabriel Feltz and the Belgrade Philharmonic have prepared a “revolutionary” concert for Friday, 31 January at 8:00 p.m. at Kolarac Hall, with two symphonies: Haydn’s No. 85 (“La Reine/The Queen”) and Shostakovich’s No. 11, featuring a 150 kg church bell.

The theme of this concert is revolution. Haydn’s Symphony No. 85 was nicknamed “La Reine” (The Queen) because it was the favorite of Marie Antoinette, at the time Queen of France, while Shostakovich’s composition refers to the events of the Russian Revolution of 1905 but actually reflects the brutal Soviet suppression of the Hungarian Uprising in 1956.

This unique symphony, sometimes dubbed “a film score without the film” was also prepared in an unusual way. In addition to working hard on the score, the chief conductor also read parts of Shostakovich’s memoirs to the musicians, and the rehearsal included a screening of Eisenstein’s “Battleship Potemkin,” notably the celebrated scene of the massacre of civilians on the Odessa Steps, which features this symphony’s second movement. A special attraction has been prepared for the symphony’s fourth movement, Tocsin (Alarm Bell). A 150-pound church bell was procured specifically for this occasion, to be “played” by the orchestra’s percussionist.

The Belgrade Philharmonic is grateful to the “Ligrap” church bell foundry for letting us use the bell for the performance of Shostakovich’s composition.

One hundred standing tickets will be on sale at the Kolarac Box Office, from 7:00 p.m., one hour before the concert.