New Arrangement of Beethoven's Symphony No. 6 to be Premiered
This trio of musicians last performed together at Carnegie Hall as part of the 2019-2020 season's Beethoven Celebration, mere days before the Hall’s extended closure as a result of the pandemic.
Ax, Kavakos, and Ma will turn with an all Beethoven program featuring his Piano Trio in B-flat Major, Op. 11, "Gassenhauer," Piano Trio in D Major, Op. 70, No. 1, "Ghost," and a new arrangement of Symphony No. 6, "Pastoral."
Beethoven's sixth symphony was arranged for this trio by pianist Shai Wosner, who was first inspired to do so after a conversation with his mentor, Emmanuel Ax. Beethoven himself arranged his second symphony for trio and Ax, Kavakos, and Ma already had their hands on an arrangement of the fifth. After hearing that the trio wanted to perform more of these works, Wosner picked Symphony No. 6, "Pastoral" to arrange as a fun "pandemic project."
When asked about the piece, Wosner commented that "there is something about it that is very intimate throughout — most of its movements, except for the obvious exception of the 'Storm,' are rather introspective."
"I have always felt that, more than being an outright depiction of nature and its sounds, it is really a reflection on nature and how it affects us and our view of ourselves in the world," he told The Violin Channel.
"Along with the various cinematic effects of birdcalls and lightning flashes, it is a meditation on the sense of liberty one gains from being in nature. And I felt that the conversational mode that is built into the trio format would go well with that aspect of the work. If the orchestral version is like a county fair, I feel the trio version is like three people having a nice picnic and exchanging their impressions of the world."
New York audiences can hear the arrangement at the concert on Tuesday, March 8, at 8 PM at Carnegie Hall. Tickets can be purchased here.
Pianist and arranger Shai Wosner is a recipient of Lincoln Center’s Martin E. Segal Award, an Avery Fisher Career Grant, and a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award. As a former BBC New Generation Artist, he records for Onyx Classics and his most recent album, a selection of Schubert piano sonatas, was released in March 2020.