[Beethoven Connotations | Antwerp Spring Festival]

Casco Phil © Antoine Porcher

Kadi Jürgens mezzo-soprano

Benjamin Haemhouts conductor

Ludwig van Beethoven – Ouverture of Egmont, Op. 84
Wim Henderickx– Only Darkness and Shadows, on poetry by Triin Soomets
Luc Van Hove – Diabelli Veränderung, Op. 43
Ludwig van Beethoven – Symphony nr. 5 in Es minor, Op. 67

Not many will disagree: Ludwig van Beethoven is one of the greatest composers of all time. He single-handedly pushed the boundaries of orchestral work. There is an untenably progressive evolution in his nine symphonies. The ‘Eroica’, the ‘Pastorale’, the massive Ninth … all were ground-breaking in their own way. There is a ‘before’ and an ‘after’ Beethoven in the symphonic repertoire. That is how influential he has been.

Hardly surprisingly that all later composers have to measure up to the master. Brahms did not dare début a symphony until the age of 43 because he felt pressure from Beethoven; Wagner called the Ninth “the mystical goal of all my desires about music”. Without Beethoven, no Mahler, no Stravinsky, no Stockhausen.

At the Antwerp Spring Festival, we bring that intergenerational dialogue to the stage. With, on the one hand, music by Beethoven himself: the overture from the stage music for Egmont and the Fifth Symphony with its iconic opening notes. We combine those works with music by home-grown composers. Composers like Luc Van Hove and the late Wim Henderickx who looked at Ludwig van with admiration, and then went on to work with his symphonic tonal language in a completely unique way.

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