Stockholm Concert Hall
Sakari Oramo

Thursday 26 April 2018

Stockholm Concert Hall


Concert Information


Music by Gustav Mahler, Benjamin Staern and Béla Bartók.

If my life were to flow on as peacefully as a meadow brook, I don’t think I would ever again be able to compose anything, Gustav Mahler once said. This was not the case – his life was filled with drama, of which the first two symphonies are also musical examples. Many life experiences are contained herein, and the music was challenging for audiences of the time, with its emotional volatility and daring dissonance.

It took Mahler 15 years to go from idea to completed work, and a journey from young and promising to master before his first symphony premiered in Budapest in 1889. His songs play a huge role in the symphonic style, and here, Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen are heard in the first and third movements.

The programme also offers Bartók’s Violin Concerto No. 1, which was composed for – and as a portrait of – the young violinist Stefi Geyer. Stefi Geyer played a double role for Bartók, who was in love with her: confidante – they wrote letters – and muse. Her recurrent theme, the notes D–F sharp–A–C sharp, begin the entire concerto and permeate much of the music.

Here, we will hear Norwegian soloist Vilde Frang, whose unique interpretations and virtuosity make her one of the most coveted violinists today. This season, she debuted with the Munich Philharmonic and Valery Gergiev, and returned to the Orchestre de Paris and the festival in Lucerne with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and Herbert Blomstedt. She debuted with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra in February 2009 and last guest-performed in November 2016 (in Britten’s Violin Concerto).

To begin, we will hear music by Benjamin Staern (b. 1978), one of the greatest Swedish compositional talents of our time.

The music

Benjamin Staern Jubilate
Béla Bartók Violin Concerto No. 1
Gustav Mahler Symphony No. 1 ”Titan”


Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
Sakari Oramo conductor
Vilde Frang Violin