German Opera and Russian Romanticism: Orchestra under Rasul Klychev Presents New Program

On March 18, the State Symphony Orchestra under Rasul Klychev gave a concert at the Magtymguly National Music and Drama Theater, whose program included works by Carl von Weber and Pyotr Tchaikovsky.

Before the audience was treated to Carl Maria von Weber’s romantic opera ‘Der Freischütz’ (‘The Freeshooter’ or ‘The Marksman’), Rasul Klychev had told the story of the piece, which became not only the composer’s most important work, but also marked a significant milestone in European culture in the first half of the 19th century.

The opera, which premiered on June 18, 1821, was a tremendous success. “Our freeshooter (Freischütz) has scored a bull’s eye”, Weber wrote to his librettist Johann Friedrich Kind.

The Orchestra under the baton of Rasul Klychev delivered a brilliant and full of drama performance, wordlessly telling the story of romantic love between the head forester’s daughter, Agathe, and the assistant forester, Max, their striving for happiness, the struggle between good and evil, the Devil (represented by one of the characters), and the events in the mysterious Wolf’s Glen.

The musicians performed the Overture to ‘Der Freischütz’. The opera’s central themes, combined in the piece were accentuated by the solo clarinet. The expressive and richly diverse music conjured up the deceitful intrigues of Caspar and Samiel, anxiety for the loving couple’s happiness, desperation and pain of Agathe and Max, keeping the audience in suspense. The Overture ended with a distinctive fanfare motif celebrating the triumph of good over evil. The crowd gave the musician a round of applause.

The Overture was followed by Weber’s another work, Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra No. 1. The solo clarinet was played by Yusup Ovezov, the winner of the President’s Prize. The wonderfully expressive piece of music with the free-flowing clarinet melody once again sparked the imaginations of listeners.

Opening the concert’s second part, which was dedicated to Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Rasul Klychev reminded that this year marks the great composer’s 180th birthday. The Orchestra performed extracts from Tchaikovsky’s ballets and Symphonic Fantasy ‘Francesca da Rimini’. The audience applauded enthusiastically, thanking the Orchestra and the conductor for their virtuoso performance and the chance to soak up the music by the Russian genius.