Hommage à Beethoven

21/01/22, 19:00


Les Préludes, symphonic poem


Violin Concerto


Symphony in D minor


Arabella Steinbacher violin

Filharmonie Brno

conductor Tomáš Netopil



A “hidden” homage to Beethoven                                                                       

Why are these concerts, in which not a single work by Ludwig van Beethoven is heard, labelled as an homage to the composer? In his last string quartet, Beethoven used as his motto the question Muss es sein? (Must it be?), expressed as an interrogative three-tone motif. Both Franz Liszt in his best-known symphonic poem Les Préludes and César Franck in his Symphony in D minor start with this question, and each seeks to answer it in his own way.

And how does Paul Hindemith with his Violin Concerto fit into this tribute to Beethoven? In addition to composition and conducting, Hindemith also graduated in violin and completed his studies with a performance of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in D major. Strikingly similar timpani introductions as well as other parallels in the violin concertos by the two composers might suggest that Hindemith took his inspiration directly from Beethoven.

Yet these concert evenings also honour the lavish tradition of German Romantic symphonism, with which all three works are linked in one way or another, and to César Franck himself, whose 200th birthday we commemorate in 2022.