Thursday, 11 February 2021

Dresden Philharmonic commemorates the anniversary of the destruction of Dresden with a live-streamed concert conducted by Marek Janowski

The Luther Monument in front of the ruins of the Frauenkirche, Dresden in 1958 (Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-60015-0002 / Giso Löwe / CC-BY-SA 3.0)
The Luther Monument in front of the ruins of the Frauenkirche, Dresden in 1958

13 February is the anniversary of the destruction of Dresden by Allied bombing on 13 February 1945. In 1946, the Dresden Philharmonic gave a commemorative of Brahms' Ein deutsches Requiem with the Dresden Kreuzchor, conductor Rudolph Mauersberger, and since then the commemorative concert has become a regular feature of Dresden's musical culture of remembrance. 

This year, the Dresden Philharmonic will be conducted by its chief conductor, Marek Janowski, in Webern's version of Bach's 'Ricercar a 6' from Das Musikalische Opfer BWV 1079 (1747), Mozart's Symphony No. 25 in G minor KV 183 (1773) and Richard Strauss' Metamorphosen from 1945. 

Two of the works have tragic links to the year 1945. In September 1945, Webern was tragically killed by a US Army soldier, whilst Strauss' Metamorphosen was very much a memorial to the destruction of the Germany that Strauss knew, not just Dresden but Munich which had been similarly devstated. Mozart's symphony, written when he was 17, is one of only two he wrote in the key of G minor (the other is the large-scale Symphony No. 40). The scoring includes four horns, two each in two different keys in order to give the composer a wider range of notes available on the natural horn).

The concert will be performed at the Kulturpalast, Dresden and will be live on the Dresden Philharmonic's webpage and Facebook page at 6.30pm CET

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