- Fanny Hensel: Hero and Leander
- Joseph Martin Kraus: Symphony C sharp minor VB 140
- Sergei Prokofiev: Romeo and Julia Suite 1 & 2
Fanny Hensel: Hero and Leander
Hero and Leander is a Greek love story about the stately Leander who is in love with Hero, a beautiful priestess. In order for them to meet secretly, Leander swims every night across the Hellespont, guided by a light that Hero shines in her tower. One night, the light is extinguished by an unusually strong wind, and Leander drowns. In despair, Hero throws herself from her tower into the wild sea to join her beloved in Hades.
Fanny Hensel (née Mendelssohn, 1805–1847) composed her interpretation of the ancient legend over a few days in December 1831, thereby clearly establishing herself as a romantic composer. The work is divided into two recitatives and two arias.
Joseph Martin Kraus: Symphony C sharp minor VB 140
Joseph Martin Kraus (1756–1792) was a German-Swedish composer born in Miltenberg am Main, Germany. He came to Sweden at age 21, seeking opportunities to work for the famously music loving King Gustav III. However, it would take him three hard years spent in extreme poverty, before the king noticed him. Kraus died in Stockholm, 36 years old. His Symphony in C sharp minor, written in 1782, is a representative of the more intimate sinfonia da camera genre. The entire work can be considered one of the best examples of a true Sturm und Drang symphony.
Sergei Prokofiev: Romeo and Julia Suite 1 & 2
Soviet composer Sergei Prokofiev (1891–1953) composed the original version of Romeo and Juliet in 1935. Unlike Shakespeare's famous love drama, the ballet ended happily for the young couple in the lead roles. However, this was a change that did not go down well with Moscow's elite of micro-managing cultural bureaucrats, and only after extensive revisions did the work receive its Soviet premiere in 1940. Prokofiev would later reuse the music as a solo piece for piano as well as in the form of three orchestral suites, of which we hear the first two in this concert.
Magdalena Pawlisz, conductor
Magdalena Pawlisz is a Polish conductor who studied conducting with Rafael Jacek Delekta, Steven Sloane, Harry Curtis, as well as in masterclasses with Colin Metters. She assisted Michail Jurowski, Enrico Calesso and Patrik Ringborg at Mainfranken Theater Würzburg and GöteborgsOperan. As guest conductor, she has already performed in Italy, Germany, Poland and in Sweden. Her last performance at the Academy of Music and Drama was in 2021, see the video here.
Magdalena Pawlisz has previously worked with symphony orchestras such as the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Kammerakademie Potsdam or Orchestra de Cadaques. She has also conducted opera orchestras, including those of the Royal Opera House in London, Welsh National Opera in Cardiff and the Komische Oper Berlin.