Sinfonietta Rīga and Florian Donderer in the festival "European Christmas"

The concert at the Great Guild Hall will bring to the audience of the festival "European Christmas" not just a magnificent programme in the celebratory mood of the New Year's Eve, but also a long anticipated rendezvous with the charismatic German musician Florian Donderer, concertmaster Die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen led by conductor Paavo Järvi.


Donderer will take up two roles in this concert comprising three masterpieces of the classical era. He will act as Performance leader, and, of course, will show off his fantastic proficiency of violin in Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 5. When Florian Donderer and Die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen performed the Concerto in Die Glocke concert hall in Bremen last May, German press wrote: “If we want to know what the great Austrian conductor Nicolaus Harnoncourt meant by 'musical storytelling' (Erzählcharakter), it was finally made clear in this concert. Donderer understands the importance of 'musical storytelling', giving a precise narrative character to each note of the musical piece. At times swinging, at times playful, or humorous, or ironic, even self-mocking, at times diving to the depths of melancholy – but never in a self-indulgent way, constantly engaged in a conversation with the audience in the concert hall.”


It is worth noting that in January Sinfonietta Rīga performed this same classic violin opus in the Great Guild Hall with another brilliant contemporary violinist, Pekka Kuusisto (Finland). It only adds to the intrigue of the concert, allowing the listeners to experience another interpretation of the piece – this time according to the German school.


Mozart's Violin Concerto will be accompanied by Franz Schubert's jovial Overture in D major, later  given the apt descriptive title "In the Italian Style" and inspired directly from the Rossini mania that took over Vienna in the beginning of the 19th century. The celebrated Italian opera composer Gioachino Rossini, with his flirtatious, but at the same time dramaturgically sober pieces conquered the hearts of many Viennese music lovers. From the late 1816 when the Viennese audience was first introduced to Rossini and his music, it became the latest fashion and infatuation of the Austrian concertgoers. Schubert, at that time only twenty years old, was also “infected” and put off working on his Symphony No. 6 to compose two Italian-style overtures, one of which will be performed on Saturday in the Great Guild Hall.


On his turn, Joseph Haydn bases the musical motif of the 3rd part of his Clock Symphony on a melody written for a clock – one of the twelve that Haydn composed for the wonderful mechanical device he presented to his patron, prince Nikolaus Esterházy in 1793 as a gift. Already in the 2nd part of the symphony a clear “tick-tock” motif emerges in the rhythmical arrangement, thus the symphony can be rightfully placed among the most playful of Haydn's works. Clock Symphony was composed just before Haydn's second trip to London, and was premièred in the famous Hannover Square Rooms, in a concert organized by composer's friend and companion Johann Peter Salomon on March 3, 1794, but by today the performance of the exuberant, amusing opus has become a beloved tradition of the year's end in the concert halls around the world.



Franz Schubert Overture in D major, D. 590 (“In the Italian Style”)

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Violin Concerto No. 5 in A major, K. 219

Joseph Haydn Symphony in D major, Hob. I:101 (“The Clock”)


Photo by Jörg Sarbach © 

Photo by Giorgia Bertazzi © 

W. A. Mozart - Symphony No. 41 "Jupiter"
F. Mendellsohn - Symphony No. 3
Linda Leimane - Guesstimations
R. Strauss - Oboe Concerto
We are playing