I. Chaconne - Larghetto - Chaconne
II. Pas seul: Largo - Allegretto, sempre piano - Più allegro
Duration: approx. 14 minutes
Violin Concerto in A minor
Moderato - Andante sostenuto - Tempo I - Allegro
Duration: approx. 21 minutes
Intermission: 20 minutes
1st tableau: The Shrovetide Fair
• Introduction (At the Shrovetide fair)
• The Magician’s Little Theatre
• Russian Dance
2nd tableau: Petrushka’s Room
3rd tableau: The Moor’s Room
• The Moor’s Room
• Dance of the Ballerina
• Waltz of the Ballerina and the Moor
4th tableau: The Shrovetide Fair, toward
• The Wet-Nurses’ Dance
• The Peasant and his dancing bear
• A Reveling Merchant and two Gypsy Women
• Dance of the Coachmen and the Grooms
• The Mummers
• The Fight between the Moor and Petrushka
• Petrushka’s death
• Appearance of Petrushka’s ghost
In a style reminiscent of Glazunov, Stravinsky’s rhythmic Petrushka is the story of a mischievous puppet who comes to life. With his sidekicks, he transforms the orchestra into a theatrical performance of love and jealousy. The concert opens with Mozart’s tragic Idomeneo, which brings together fate, passion and despair under the baton of guest conductor Nicholas Carter. Violinist Karen Gomyo brings all of Glazunov’s romanticism and brilliance to life.
Podcast (French only)
Symphonic Tales is a new series of podcasts by the Orchestre Métropolitain presented by Radio VM. These podcasts, hosted by musicologist Marilou Garon, offer an immersion into the works on the concert programs for the 2022-2023 season.
Premiered on January 28, 1781, in Munich at the court theatre (Cuvilliés Theatre) conducted by Christian Cannabich
“I’ve not quite finished the third act; and as there is no extra ballet, but only an appropriate divertissement in the opera, I have the honour of writing that music too.” – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Letters, December 30, 1780
In 1780, Mozart was delighted to receive a commission for an opera seria from the Elector of Bavaria. It would be Idomeneo, King of Crete. Long a major genre, opera seria (literally serious opera) featured complex plots based on ancient history and opposing love, duty, loyalty and betrayal in a series of alternating recitatives and arias that had come to be considered static. At heart a reformer, Mozart pushed librettist Giambattista Varesco to better integrate the dramatic elements using vocal combinations, like the French masters, whom he appreciated “not for their melodies but for their dramatic effects.”
In lyric tragedies and other French works for stage, divertissements with dances and choruses were added to the informal structure of the intermissions, as in Italy. Mozart needed to compose a concluding ballet that would celebrate the story’s happy ending: the marriage of Idamante, heir of his father, Idoemeno, and heir to the Cretan throne, to the Trojan princess Ilia. Sumptuously scored in a sparkling D major, the music was a splendid showcase for the Elector’s orchestra, one of the finest in Europe, conducted by Christian Cannabich.
The first movement of the ballet is a huge and brilliant chacoone, a dance that had been obligatory on French stages for a hundred years. Within the form’s inherent grandness, Mozart drew with a free hand, in the spirit of a rondeau. The entire corps de ballet danced during the refrain while the episodes were given over to pas seuls and pas de deux danced by M. Le Grand, Mme Hartig, M. Antoine and Mlle Falgera. The episodes offer a diversity of atmospheres, some are in B and D minor and, in the central Larghetto, “the lower strings exude a dreamy tenderness” (Isabelle Rouart). The “Pas seul de M. Le Grand” follows, its four contrasting sections progressively gaining speed, until the energetic return of the initial Chacoone and the full ballet.
Though Idomeneo was the first of the great operas of Mozart’s maturity, showing the depth of feeling unique to its author, its concluding ballet is more of “a feast of uninhibitedly pleasurable dance music, returning this masterpiece to its origins in the courtly spectacle of tragédie lyrique” (Julian Rushton).
Premiered in Saint Petersburg on February 15. 1905 by violinist Leopold Auer and the Russian Musical Society conducted by Glazunov
“The concerto . . . is often said to be the most lyrical since Mendelssohn’s.” – Noel Goodwin
Born in Saint Petersburg in 1865 to a well-off family, Alexander Glazunov began studying the piano at age nine and soon became interested in composition. He didn’t enroll in a conservatory, however, but received private lessons from Balakirev and then Rimski-Korsakov. On turning 16, he composed his first symphony and attracted the attention of a wealthy patron, Mitrofan Belyayev, who programmed the young composer’s chamber works at his Friday musical soirées before appointing him conductor of his Russian Symphony Concerts in 1888. In the meantime, Glazunov went on a long trip of Western Europe, where he met several fellow composers including Liszt. In 1899, he began teaching composition and instrumentation at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory, whose director he would become six years later, a position he held until 1928. He then emigrated to the West, where he received honours from various musical institutions. After several tours, most notably of the United States, Glazunov died in Neuilly-sur-Seine in 1936.
“During his lifetime, one of the great Russian musical celebrities” (Romain Goldron) and having produced some 150 compositions, Glazunov had an exceptional orchestral technique and sense of architecture. Heavily influenced by the German post-romantics, especially Brahms and Richard Strauss, he set aside the Russian nationalism cultivated by his compatriots in favour of a cosmopolitanism, which surely has something to do with his international success. “The character of his music lies more in its spirit, in the quality of the feeling, than in the thematic, rhythmic or instrumental material” (Henry Barraud), through a certain academism places it on the margin of the modern musical currents of his time.
Begun in 1904, Glazunov’s Violin Concerto in A minor, “a work of sound taste,” is a series of thematically related sections played without a break. It begins with the violin in the lower register voicing an expressive, richly chromatic line “faintly coloured with Gypsy elements” (André Lischke) that becomes more virtuosic until the arrival of the second, more serene theme. After an agitated passage, an Andante brings a touch of lyricism with a “very fine and clear” if increasingly complex orchestration before the initial Moderato returns. Then comes a grand, cadenza filled with chords, double stops playing both melody and accompaniment, double trills and left-hand pizzicatos, though the virtuosity is natural and “beautifully integrated into the overall design” (Calum MacDonald). Then erupts the final Allegro in A major. Its pointed, dancing triple metre, colourful orchestration and secondary ideas (one lighthearted, the other, with its pastoral drone, rustic) lend it a sunny, festive atmosphere.
Original version premiered on June 13, 1911, in Paris, conducted by Pierre Monteux
After the huge success of his first ballet, The Firebird (1910), Stravinsky got down to writing a work for piano and orchestra that would incorporate authentic Russian folksongs and dances. While composing the piece, he was haunted by the image of a puppet come to life, leading to the work being transformed into a ballet-pantomime, Petrushka, in which the piano is part of a brilliant, kaleidoscopic orchestra.
Petrushka is set at a Shrove Tuesday carnival in Saint Petersburg. The ballet tells the tragicomic story of a puppet in love with a ballerina. Stravinsky turns his back on the impressionist sonorities he continued to use in The Firebird, emphasizing percussive rhythms and vibrant colours. The original 1911 version calls for a very large orchestra. In his 1947 revision, nowadays the most frequently performed version, the composer scored the work for a slightly smaller orchestra.
The 2022/23 season marks Nicholas Carter’s second as Chief Conductor and Co-Operndirektor of Oper Bern.
This season in Bern, he leads main stage productions of Die Walkure, L’enfant et les sortileges, and Iolanta and appears in the Berner Symphonieorchester subscription season. This season will see debut appearances for Nicholas with Opernhaus Zurich (Pearl Fishers) and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. This season also includes return engagements with the Metropolitan Opera (Peter Grimes), Deutsche Oper Berlin (Verdi Requiem in collaboration with Staatsballett Berlin), Orchestre Metropolitain and Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin.
From 2018-2021, Nicholas was Chefdirigent of Stadttheater Klagenfurt and the Kärntnersinfonieorchester, where he led many new productions and appeared regularly in the orchestra’s concert series. His repertoire there included widely celebrated productions of Tannhäuser, Pelleas et Melisande, Simon Boccanegra, Rusalka, Elektra, Cendrillon and La Clemenza di Tito. For his Santa Fe Opera debut, he conducted Die Fledermaus, returning to much praise in 2021 for Eugene Onegin and has also led Deutsche Oper am Rhein’s Don Carlo and their most successful new production of Don Pasquale.
Born in Melbourne, Nicholas enjoys an ongoing relationship with all the major Australian orchestras, particularly with the Adelaide Symphony, where he served as Principal Conductor from 2016-2019. After serving as Kapellmeister and musical assistant to Simone Young at the Staatsoper Hamburg, Nicholas was invited in 2014 to take up a Kapellmeister position at the Deutsche Oper Berlin where he worked closely with GMD Donald Runnicles.
Violinist Karen Gomyo has captivated audiences in North America, Europe and Australasia with her musical integrity, technical assurance and compelling interpretations.
In North America, Ms. Gomyo has worked with the New York Philharmonic, the Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras, and the Chicago, San Francisco, Atlanta, Cincinnati, and Houston symphonies among many others. Recent and upcoming appearances include re-engagements with the St. Louis, Detroit, Milwaukee and Toronto symphonies and the Minnesota Orchestra.
Internationally, Ms. Gomyo has appeared with the Philharmonia in London, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne, Orchestre Symphonique de Radio France, Deutsches Symphony Orchestra Berlin and the Czech Philharmonic in Europe; and in Australasia with the Hong Kong Philharmonic and the Sydney and Melbourne symphonies. She returned to Prague in December 2021 to play the first Shostakovich Violin Concerto with the Czech Phil and Maestro Bychkov.
Strongly committed to contemporary works, Ms. Gomyo performed the world premiere of Samuel Adams’ Chamber Concerto with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Esa-Pekka Salonen, a work commissioned for her by the CSO. She also performed the North American premiere of Matthias Pintscher’s Concerto No. 2 “Mar’eh” with the composer conducting the National Symphony Orchestra. In April 2022, she will premiere a double concerto written for her and trumpet player Tine Thing Helseth by Xi Wang with the Dallas Symphony.
Born in Tokyo, Ms. Gomyo studied in Montreal and in New York at The Juilliard School with famed violin pedagogue Dorothy DeLay. She plays on the “Aurora, exFoulis” Stradivarius violin made in 1703.
Yukari Cousineau, Concertmaster
Oleg Larshin, Associate Concertmaster
Johanne Morin, Assistant Concertmaster
Amélie Benoit Bastien
Nancy Ricard, Second Principal
Dominic Guilbault, Second Associate Principal
Lucie Ménard, Second Assistant Principal
Jean Ai Seow
Elvira Misbakhova, Principal
Brian Bacon, Associate Principal
Julie Dupras, Assistant Principal
Amina Myriam Tébini
Christopher Best, Principal
Julien Siino, Associate Principal
Agnès Langlois, Assistant Principal
René Gosselin, Principal
Marc Denis, Associate Principal
Réal Montminy, Assistant Principal
Marie-Andrée Benny, Principal
Caroline Séguin, Principal Piccolo
Kirsten Zander, Principal
Mélanie Harel, Principal English Horn
Simon Aldrich, Principal
François Martel, Principal Bass Clarinet
Michel Bettez, Principal
Carmelle Préfontaine, Principal Contrabassoon
Louis-Philippe Marsolais, Principal
Antoine Mailloux, Principal
Patrice Richer, Principal
Trevor Dix, Principal Bass Trombone
Scott Cheyne, Principal
Julien Bélanger, Principal
Alexandre Lavoie, Principal
Robin Best, Principal
Jennifer Bourdages, Principal Piano
Dantonio Pisano, Principal Celesta
Thank you to all our donors who make it possible for our musicians to perform on stage.
Cookies used to personalize the online user experience
We use Google Analytics to better understand our users’ Web preferences and interests.
We use the Meta Pixel and the Linkedin Insights Tag to better personalize our ads. These cookies are used solely by OM through these platforms and will not be shared with any other third parties.