The Finnish Baroque Orchestra, Meta4, Nicholas Ischerwood, Natascha Kurdriskaya
The king is dead, long live the king! Series of three concerts exploring power, despotism and the lust for power with its sometime fatal consequences. Virtuosos of the Finnish Baroque Orchestra and Meta4, the string quartet acclaimed for their bold approaches, join forces plunging into the themes of kinghood and power. A discount of -15 % when buying 3 tickets or more at a time.
What is power, what is kingship? asks Finnish Baroque Orchestra in three concerts played with the vaunted Meta4 quartet. As one of the violinists of Meta4, Antti Tikkanen taking lead as artistic director of Fibo a unique possibility of collaboration opens up to these exceptional ensembles. It is not just the blending of old and new but a fusion of artistic temperaments and perspectives. The concert trilogy starts with musical monuments of powerful legacy. Beethoven’s six last string quartets culminate the classical era, as did Bach’s contrapuntal collection Musikalisches Opfer for baroque fugue style. According to the cherished legend, Musikalisches Opfer, A Musical Offering, was also a feat of strength against Frederick the Great of Prussia who in 1747 tested Bach’s noted abilities with an uncommonly challenging fugue theme - later named Thema Regium, the theme of the king. The protagonist of the second concert is Napoleon Bonaparte, to whom Schönberg wrote his “Ode to Napoleon Buonaparte” (1942) and who was, initially, in Beethoven’s mind as he wrote the famous Eroica Symphony. After Napoleon’s volte-face Beethoven tore, angrily, the work’s title page with the dedication. During the nationalism inflamed by the Napoleonic Wars, Haydn, on his part, was keen to create for Austria an anthem to match those of England and France. ”God Save Emperor Franz”, today Germany's national anthem, is heard as the motto of composer’s “Emperor Quartet.” Is madness the final outcome of power? Insanity creeps into music itself with Lewis Carroll's mad logic in Mikko Heiniö's 1993 Piano quintet, macaber transpositions or cracked variations. The trilogy culminates in Peter Maxwell Davies's monodrama "Eight songs for a mad king." The insane soliloquy based on the outbursts of George III (1738-1820) takes the madness of power into extremity in placing the players - Fibo and Meta4 joining forces - into a "bird cage" and finally breaking the violin... Auli Särkiö