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OSR Festival III

The OSR musicians in the spotlight



19:30 — Bâtiment des Forces Motrices


Grand Mécène

Artistic partner


Jonathan Nottconductor

Léonard Frey-MaibachLionel CottetGabriel EstebanHilmar SchweizerYao JinOlivier MorelCaroline Siméand Morelcello

Jean-Pierre BerryJulia HeirichPierre BriandClément Charpentier-LeroyAgnès Chopinhorn

Giuliano SommerhalderOlivier BombrunLaurent Fabretrumpet

Matteo de LucaAlexandre FaureVincent MétraillerAndrea Bandinitrombone

Orchestre de la Suisse Romandein small ensemble

Part. 1

7.30pm — 9pm

Conlon Nancarrow

Study No. 1, for Small Orchestra (orchestration Yvar Mikhashoff, 1995)

John Adams

Chamber Symphony, No. 1 Mongrel Airs

Lawrence Kenneth Moss

Symphonies, for Brass Quintet and Chamber Orchestra

Pierre Boulez

Messagesquisse for Solo Cello and 6 Cellos, named after Paul Sacher

Conlon Nancarrow

Study No. 6, for Chamber Orchestra (orchestration Yvar Mikhashoff, 2011)

John Adams

Chamber Symphony, No. 3 'Roadrunner'

Jan Koetsier

Concertino for 4 Trombones and String Orchestra Op. 115

Trygve Madsen

Sinfonia concertante in E flat major for 4 Horns and Orchestra Op. 153

Paul Schoenfield

Vaudeville, for Trumpet and Orchestra, No. 4 & 5


Part. 2

9pm — 1.30am

Dj set

Electron's guest

The Fake Sophia
Reda Saiarh

The music

In the first part of this programme, orchestrated studies by the American-Mexican composer Conlon Nancarrow (1912-1997) and the Chamber Symphony (1992) by John Adams (b. 1947) frame pieces by their compatriot Lawrence Kenneth Moss (1927-2022) and Pierre Boulez (1925-2016). Considered by some to be the finest composer of his generation, during his lifetime Nancarrow nevertheless remained in the shadow of more flamboyant colleagues such as John Cage. We will hear two of Nancarrow's fifty or so Studies for prepared piano - so named because objects are placed on or between the strings - written between 1948 and 1992. In the two Studies presented here, No. 1 is distinguished by more than two hundred tempo changes, while No. 6 claims to be bluesy.

As for Adams' score, while its effectives are almost identical to those for Schoenberg's work of the same name, the two movements on the programme, Mongrel Airs and Roadrunner, are equally inspired by the hyperactive and sometimes thunderous background music of the famous comic strips of the Fifties. Tone is not absent from Moss's Symphonies for Quintet and Chamber Orchestra (1977), but the harmonic language presents so many poles of attraction that it would be hard to say which prevails. Boulez the conductor needs no introduction, but his composed works remain little known to the general public, with the possible exception of Messagesquisse, in which the solo cello line constantly generates new musical cuttings in the ensemble of six cellos that accompanies it.

The programme also includes not one but two nods to Schumann's Konzertstück for four horns. The highly enjoyable Concertino for four trombones (1982) by Jan Koetsier (1911-2006) is just one of several brass works by this Dutch composer. In the extensive catalogue of Norwegian composer Trygve Madsen (b. 1941), the horn occupies a special place. Conceived as a tribute to Richard Strauss, author of two horn concertos, the Sinfonia concertante for four horns (2013) is an effective reminder of the impeccable craftsmanship and melodic gift readily associated with the Bavarian. To close, the musicians offer us Vaudeville by the American composer Paul Schoenfield (b. 1947), whose Four Parables, for piano and orchestra, just made a real hit at a concert in November 2023 under the fluid fingers of Dmitry Shishkin, winner of the Geneva Competition in 2018. A worthy successor to Gershwin in bringing American popular music to the concert hall, Schoenfield here showcases his exuberant humour, motley sources of inspiration, disarming freshness - and always sparkling virtuosity.

The concerts on Friday and Saturday will continue with the synthetic sounds of Electron, Geneva's festival of electronic cultures.

The videos

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OSR Live

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Maurice Ravel


Jonathan Nott


Recorded on 15 November 2017 at Victoria Hall, Geneva

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Ludwig van Beethoven

Symphonie N° 4 en si bémol majeur op. 60

Jonathan Nott


Recorded on 30 July 2020 at Victoria Hall, Geneva