Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Visions and Voices: LA Phil | Dudamel & Joshua Bell

Matthias Pintscher: Towards Osiris

A German conductor and composer, Matthias Pintscher (born 1971) studied with Giselher Klebe and Manfred Trojahn, also attending summer programs with Hans Werner Henze.  Serving as the Music Director for Ensemble InterContemporain, composition professor at The Juilliard School, and artist in residence at the Cologne Philharmonie, Pintscher's musical style focuses on tone color and its reliance on poetic force.  

From his Grove article by Michael Töpel: "He has described many of his poetry-inspired works as ‘speech-music’; these compositions seek a way through the colour of poetic language into the heart of the poetic scene, while acknowledging that such an ideal cannot be achieved."

This will be the West Coast premiere of his piece Towards Osiris (premiered in 2010 by the New York Philharmonic):

Brahms: Violin Concerto

Brahms composed his Violin Concerto (Op. 77) in 1878, when he was 45 years old; this was only a few years after he had finally completed his first two symphonies, a process that had taken much longer than expected and was possibly due to the looming spectre of Beethoven (especially the Third, Fifth, and Ninth symphonies).

The concerto is dedicated to Joseph Joachim, a close friend of Brahms' and one of the most influential violinists of the nineteenth century.  Joachim not only advised Brahms on general string-related aspects for most of his compositions, essentially advised the composer on how to write the solo part.

Being essentially responsible for resurrecting Beethoven's Violin Concerto in the latter half of the nineteenth century, Joachim premiered the Brahms concerto on a program that started with the Beethoven -- Brahms (who conducted the premiere) complained that "it was a lot of D major".

Many portions of the work are extremely well-known and it was used to great effect by Paul Thomas Anderson in his 2007 film There Will Be Blood.

Strauss: Don Juan & Till Eulenspiegel

The tone poems of Richard Strauss were thought to be the "vanguard of modernism" around the turn of the twentieth century, representing an apex in the development of program music that began with Beethoven's Sixth ("Pastorale") and Ninth ("Choral") symphonies.  The opening fanfare representing sunrise from Also sprach Zarathustra became widely popular after Stanley Kubrick used it in his 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Don Juan is the second of Strauss' tone poems, composed in 1888 when he was twenty-four; based on a retelling of the classic Renaissance-era Spanish legend of a womanizing libertine, Strauss' version ends with the main character surrendering to melancholy and willing his own death.  The composition has become infamous among orchestral musicians, due to its appearance on nearly every audition list.

Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche (Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks) was written in 1894-5 and follows the misadventures of German folk hero Till Eulenspiegel, a vagrant who is said to have lived in the first half of the fourteenth century playing practical jokes and "exposing vices at every turn."  Strauss represents Till with two themes played by the French horn and the clarinet, the latter of which assumed a playful and mischievous nature (furthered in Prokofiev's Peter and The Wolf) due to this composition.