This special concert is entirely in the spirit of fairy tales.

Into the Music with Torill Lura begins at 18:30.

Bartók’s masterpiece Bluebeard’s Castle from 1911, is a one-act opera based on Charles Perrault’s adventures. Blue beard and his fourth wife, Judith, are the only characters in the story. Judith demands the keys to the seven locked doors in Bluebeard’s dark castle, in order to shed some light on his dark world. Room after room reveals Judith’s husband’s life story. Behind the first doors, memories of his unhappy childhood and scenes from his adulthood once hidden, become revealed.  The sixth room is filled with tears. Judith accuses her husband of killing his former wives, but behind the seventh door she finds the three wives alive. However, by revealing his secret, she must remain in captivity with the ex-wives, and thus, the opera ends with the irrational isolation of Bluebeard.

Bartók uses a large orchestra and perfectly fits the music to the two roles, and the opening of all the secretive doors. The opera emphasizes the psychological game between Judith and Bluebeard, the relationship between man and woman.

Dvořák’s symphonic poem from 1896, The Golden Spinning Wheel, is based on the author Karel Erben’s collection of Czech folk tales. An unusual feature of this symphonic poem is that Dvořák made themes based on the poetic rhythm in Erben’s pros.

In the fairy tale, the king falls in love with Dornička, who has an evil stepmother and stepsister. They kill her, cut her hands and feet, and gauge out her eyes, so that her sister’s sister takes her place. The step-sister poses as Dornička and marries the king, after which he is called away to battle.

Meanwhile, in the forest, a magician finds Dornička’s remains and decides to bring her back to life. He sends a page to the castle to persuade the step-sister to part with “two feet” in return for a golden spinning wheel, “two hands” for a golden distaff, and “two eyes” for a golden spindle. The body complete again, the magician brings Dornička back to life.

The king returns from battle and hears the golden spinning wheel tell the gruesome details of Dornička’s murder. The king goes off into the forest to be reunited with her. The two murderesses are thrown to the wolves.

Dvořák gives a musical theme to each of the characters. We hear the king ride with galloping rhythms, they fall in love with one another to Dvořák’s most captivating romantic melodies, and in an eerie scherzo, Dornička is killed and eventually the king and Dornička reunite to emotional and captivating music.

Karina Canellakis, conductor
Rinat Shaham, mezzosoprano
Gábor Bretz, bass-baritone

Dvořák: The Golden Spinning Wheel
Bartók: Blujebeard's Castle