The Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra will have the honour to perform the Serbian premiere of Berlioz’s Symphonie funèbre et triomphale, composed for the tenth anniversary of the Second French Revolution. Almost 180 years after it was written, the audience will hear what used to be Berlioz’s most popular composition, directed by Cristian Mandeal, on Friday, 3 March (Kolarac, 8pm). The concert from the series For Megalomaniacs will include another premiere – Schumann’s Concerto for Four French Horns and Orchestra.
Symphonie funèbre et triomphale was commissioned by the French Government for the celebration of the tenth anniversary of the July Revolution. The Belgrade Philharmonic winds and percussionists will demonstrate the ceremonial nature it once had, when 200 musicians – a large military wind band and the percussionists marched in a megalomaniac procession at the Place de la Bastille. The scoring was subsequently revised for concert performances, and the BPO musicians will be joined by their fellow stings from the orchestra.
According to conductor Cristian Mandeal, the programme of the concert also poses a megalomaniac challenge:
“We are up against a great challenge, since the repertoire we will play is very complicated. Megalomaniac in terms of difficulty, it is rarely performed even by the world’s leading orchestras”, reveals Mandeal, a frequent guest of the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra, who is considered to be the most important Romanian conductor nowadays with a career spanning four decades.
The Friday’s concert will also include the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra’s first performance of Schumann’s Concerto for Four French Horns and Orchestra. Hungarian soloists János Benyus, István Flammer, Bence Mészáros and Máté Hamar will demonstrate the virtuosic capacity of French horns in a piece that is meant to bridge the gap between the sound of strings in Schönberg’s Verklärte Nacht, which opens the concert, and the thunderous winds that dominate Berlioz’s composition.
The megalomaniac number of premiers, soloists and challenges faced by BPO musicians absolutely justify the decision to include this programme in one of the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra’s most popular series. The final concert of the series For Megalomaniacs is scheduled for 9 June, under the baton of Fabrice Bollon.