Københavns Ungdomssymfoniorkester



Haydn, 100th Symphony

Beethoven, 7th Symphony

Conductor: Jesper Ryskin

28th of November at 19:30, in

30th of November at 16:00, in

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Notes from the conductor

Drama of the Viennese classicism

KUSO’s autumn project 2019 consists of two main pieces from the period where the Viennese classicism was replaced by the romanticism: Haydn’s 100th symphony and Beethoven’s 7th symphony, composed with only 20 years in between.

Haydn’s symphony is the turning point of a new understanding of the Viennese classicism which has been spreading during the last decades – this being that the Viennese classicism is in fact music with a lot of drama, effects, and feelings. Haydn wrote his 100th symphony during one of his many trips to London where it arose excitement and euphoria for the audience. The music Haydn wrote and the reactions to this can best be compared to the loud action movies that dominate the movies of today.

Therefore, it is a fantastic possibility for teaching our musicians and audience that Viennese classicism is not only “nice” music that has to be played with cautious and delicacy – but that it is music that has to be played with great commitment, strength, and drama. Haydn’s at that time violent use of percussion suggests this.

Beethoven’s 7th symphony was originally listed at a concert in benefit for the injured soldiers from Austria in the battle against Napoleon. And this symphony continues the line of the drama of the Viennese classicism. Those who were present at the listing tell the story of the conducting Beethoven who almost tore his arms of joints, hopping in the air whenever the orchestra were playing forte. In the music score, Beethoven actually uses the otherwise unseen Fortefortissimo (fff). All of this suggests that Beethoven wanted more.

In the orchestra, we will use these pieces to highlight the fact that music from this time should be played with the same (or even more) drama and expressivity as if we were playing Mahler or Sjostakovits.

At the same time, the pieces are chosen since they, with Haydn, are some of the earliest music the orchestra has played so far. This brings us naturally to the next project’s program, which consists of Händel’s mighty Israel in Egypt, that we will perform in collaboration with Rudersdalkoret.

Next spring, the orchestra will return to the great and newer pieces with Mussorgsky/Ravel’s piece Pictures of an Exhibition.