"Already the first striking notes of the horn solo give the listener the distinct feeling that the conductor is concerned with filling this work with new life. The slenderness of the sound is remarkable, which, despite the grandeur of the music, never runs the risk of being pathetic. On the contrary: it gives the impression that Jan Willem de Vriend wants to transform precisely those qualities that are often attributed to Schubert's music - melancholy, nostalgia, tragedy- into a sound ideal that is characterized by lightness and elegance."Klassik.com, 22-3-2021
For about 150 years it was believed that Schubert composed his Ninth Symphony in 1828, not long before his death but, musical scholarship being a continuous process, this theory was later disproved. It was discovered in the late 20th century that in fact he composed most of this work three years earlier and revised it in 1826 and 1827. Following a period of poor health, 1825 was a better year for Schubert, while his finances were also improved.
Schubert never heard a single performance of many of his works, including this great symphony. When it was rehearsed in 1827 at the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna, the string players complained that passages in which a rhythmic figure is obsessively repeated, especially in the finale, were unplayable.
In May 1824, Schubert attended the first performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Beethoven revolutionised symphonic form, expanding its expressive range enormously, his Ninth Symphony in particular being conceived on a much grander scale than any previous symphony. Schubert was just one of many composers influenced by Beethoven’s achievements.
Many scholars have suggested the various ways in which Schubert was influenced by Beethoven, but the most extraordinary aspect of Schubert's mature music is its complete individuality. The compositional techniques, the handling of tonality and structure, and the orchestral sound of these two contemporaries have very little in common. Schubert’s own profound originality is all the more striking for its emergence at a time when Beethoven's impact on the development of the symphony was so revolutionary and far-reaching.
Etwa 150 Jahre lang glaubte man, dass Schubert seine Neunte Symphonie im Jahre 1828, nicht lange vor seinem Tod, komponiert hatte, doch da die Musikwissenschaft ein kontinuierlicher Prozess ist, wurde diese Theorie später widerlegt. Am Ende des 20. Jahrhunderts nämlich wurde herausgefunden, dass der Großteil des Werkes schon drei Jahre früher komponiert und 1826 sowie 1827 überarbeitet worden war. Nach einer von Krankheit geprägten Zeit war 1825 ein besseres Jahr für Schubert, in dem sich auch seine finanzielle Lage erholte.
Schubert hörte kaum eine Uraufführung seiner Werke, diese großartige Symphonie eingeschlossen. Bei den Proben in der Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde Wien 1827 beklagten sich die Streicher, dass Passagen, in denen eine rhythmische Figur wie besessen wiederholt wird, besonders im Finale, unspielbar seien.
Im Mai 1824 besuchte Schubert die Erstaufführung von Beethovens Neunter Symphonie. Beethoven revolutionierte die symphonische Form und erweiterte ihre Ausdruckspalette enorm, wobei seine Neunte Symphonie weit größer angelegt war als je eine Symphonie zuvor. Schubert war hier nur einer von vielen Komponisten, die von Beethovens musikalischen Errungenschaften beeinflusst wurden.
Die Art und Weise von Beethovens Einfluss auf Schubert ist vielerorts in der Forschung dargelegt, doch der außergewöhnlichste Aspekt an Schuberts späteren Werken ist deren vollständige Individualität. Die Kompositionstechniken, die Handhabung von Tonalität und Struktur und der orchestrale Klang dieser beiden Zeitgenossen haben nur wenig gemein. Schuberts eigene, grundlegende Originalität ist umso bedeutsamer, da sie in einer Zeit hervortrat, in der Beethovens Einfluss auf die Entwicklung der Symphonie so revolutionär und weitreichend war.
Residentie Orkest The Hague
Residentie Orkest The Hague proves that even in the 21st century, symphonic music can still be meaningful to large and diverse audiences. Its reputation as one of the finest orchestras in Europe makes it an appropriate figurehead for The Hague as a cosmopolitan city of justice, peace, and culture. The orchestra performs concert series in the Zuiderstrandtheater in Scheveningen and in addition performs at venues such as Concertgebouw Amsterdam, TivoliVredenburg Utrecht and De Doelen in Rotterdam. Special crossover and innovative productions are also provided at The Hague’s prominent pop venue Paard throughout the season. The Residentie Orkest performs regularly at various other major concert halls abroad. Tours have brought the orchestra to New York, Boston, Chicago, London and Vienna amongst others and the orchestra also performed in countries like Japan, China, Germany, France and South America. There are also many prolific collaborations with a wide range of partners, including the Dutch National Theatre, Gemeentemuseum and the Dutch National Opera. Recent seasons have seen a much acclaimed production of Messiaen’s rarely performed opera Saint François d’Asisse, Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites and Puccini’s La Bohème andMadama Butterfly.
A rich history
Since its first concert in 1904, the Residentie Orkest has developed into one of the prominent symphony orchestras of The Netherlands. Founded by Dr Henri Viotta, who was also its first principal conductor, it quickly attracted composers like Richard Strauss, Igor Stravinsky, Max Reger, Maurice Ravel, Paul Hindemith and Vincent d’Indy. Guest conductors included Arturo Toscanini, Bruno Walter, Leonard Bernstein and Hans Knappertsbusch.
After World War II, Willem van Otterloo was appointed as chief conductor. He led the orchestra from 1949 to 1973 and built a strong reputation by combining high-quality performances with adventurous programming. Van Otterloo was succeeded by Jean Martinon, Ferdinand Leitner, Hans Vonk, Evgenii Svetlanov, Jaap van Zweden and Neeme Järvi. The orchestra has built up a rich discography with labels such as BIS, Chandos, Challenge and DGG.
Starting season 2018/2019 Nicholas Collon is chief conductor and artistic advisor of the Residentie Orkest. Richard Egarr will join the orchestra as principal guest conductor in 2019. Until the summer of 2019 Jan Willem de Vriend will act as principal conductor.
Jan Willem de Vriend conductor
In 2015 Jan Willem de Vriend was appointed as principal conductor of Residentie Orkest The Hague and principal guest conductor of the Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya. From 2017 he is also principal guest conductor of the Orchestre National de Lille.
Between 1982 and 2015 De Vriend was artistic director and violinist of the Combattimento Consort Amsterdam, established by himself. This ensemble excelled in known but especially unknown masterpieces of the 17th and 18th century belonging to the forefront of Dutch classical music. It achieved a huge success abroad as well; starting with their own series in the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, it toured around the world.
Also to be mentioned are the opera productions the ensemble accomplished, based on works by Monteverdi, Handel, Telemann, Bach, Gassmann and Mozart among others. With these operas, directed by the much-acclaimed Eva Buchmann, the ensemble toured through Europe and America.
A great number of CDs, DVDs and tv-recordings exist to document this very productive and intense period. De Vriend continues his career as full-time conductor and as charismatic promotor of classical music. With the Residentie Orkest he has recorded i.a. ‘Ein deutsches Requiem’ by Brahms and he will record all Schubert symphonies as well as Mendelssohns concertos for two pianos.
From 2006 up to 2017 Jan Willem de Vriend was chief conductor of the Orkest van het Oosten in Enschede, formerly known as the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra. Right at the start of his appointment in 2006 he attracted attention with a striking performance of Mahler’s first symphony, in the first, so-called ‘Hamburger version’. The rave reception (‘Absolutely a must’ – The Gramophone) resulted in invitations by the Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest as well as many orchestras abroad.
As chief conductor in Enschede his lifelong fascination for and experience with opera was bearing fruit. In 2013 and 2014 the orchestra was invited to Sankt Moritz/Basel to perform respectively the Don Giovanni and La Gazetta by Rossini, both with stage directions by Eva Buchmann. In 2015 Don Giovanni was successfully performed six times in the Netherlands.
From 2008 up to 2013 Jan Willem de Vriend worked as a guest conductor at the philharmonie zuidnederland. Besides he conducted the Konzerthaus Orchester Berlin, NDR Orchester, Philharmanie Stuttgart, WDR Orchester, in Hong Kong, Luxemburg, Barcelona and the Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest. He conducted operas in Swetzingen, Luzern, Straatsburg and Barcelona. For the near future concerts and recordings are scheduled, with the Orkest van het Oosten, Residentie Orkest, Rotterdams Philharmonisch Orkest, Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya, Orchestre National de Lille and the Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest.
In 2012 Jan Willem de Vriend won the prestigious ‘Radio 4 Prize’ for his indefatigable promotion of classical music.
Already the first striking notes of the horn solo give the listener the distinct feeling that the conductor is concerned with filling this work with new life. The slenderness of the sound is remarkable, which, despite the grandeur of the music, never runs the risk of being pathetic. On the contrary: it gives the impression that Jan Willem de Vriend wants to transform precisely those qualities that are often attributed to Schubert's music - melancholy, nostalgia, tragedy- into a sound ideal that is characterized by lightness and elegance.
...while modern instruments are evidently used, articulation is deft and neat, the strings' vibrato is restrained but not harshly so and the feeling is of musical values leading at every point.
BBC Music Magazine, 05-1-2021
Jan Willem de Vriend shares with other today conductors a preference for swift tempos […] The Scherzo is thoroughly compelling.
Classic Voice, 01-12-2020
This is a charming, but where it should be, also solemn, sound and impressive performance. An added value for the discography of this masterpiece. Definitely listen!