Tomáš Netopil divides his time between symphonic and opera conducting, and he wishes to show his “operatic face” to the Czech Philharmonic audience. For the players of the orchestra, the suite from the High Baroque opera Hippolyte et Aricie represents an interpretive challenge.
Hippolyte et Aricie, orchestral suite from the opera
Ludwig van Beethoven
Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Major, Op. 15
Ludwig van Beethoven
Symphony No. 4 in B Flat Major, Op. 60
Tomáš Netopil divides his time between symphonic and opera conducting, and he wishes to show his “operatic face” to the Czech Philharmonic audience. For the players of the orchestra, the suite from the High Baroque opera Hippolyte et Aricie represents an interpretive challenge. Just as it is a good idea for early music ensembles to take an occasional excursion into the world of Romanticism, Baroque music also belongs on the programmes of modern orchestras, and the opera Hippolyte et Aricie is one of the supreme works of its genre. Jean-Philippe Rameau wrote it at the age of fifty-one as a respected music theorist and teacher. The new work caused a true sensation, and according to the critics, it contained “enough music to compose ten operas”. Beethoven’s Fourth Symphony and First Piano Concerto have in common his attempt to come to terms with the compositional style of Haydn and Mozart in a worthy manner. Beethoven managed not only to grasp the greatness of the two composers, but also to channel his own original, sometimes unbridled musical language into the classical form. This can be best heard in the Menuetto of the Fourth Symphony, a full-fledged, brilliant scherzo notwithstanding its measured proportions. The Fourth Symphony is Tomáš Netopil’s contribution to the complete performances of Beethoven’s symphonies for the composer’s 250th birthday. In February, the phenomenal Austrian pianist Rudolf Buchbinder will also begin a cycle of all five of Beethoven’s piano concertos, which he will be performing as a soloist with the Czech Philharmonic, and next season as a conductor as well.