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“Best in Europe,” “Best in the World”

Posted November. 01, 2006 03:01,   


“The Best Orchestra in Europe” (Beethoven), “Orchestra like a magic harp” (Wagner), “The world’s best opera orchestra” (Richard Strauss)

The praise is directed to the German orchestra Staatskapelle Dresden, which has been active for 450 years without a single break. The orchestra is coming to Korea for the first time in six years and will perform the traditional sound of Germany with symphonies by Beethoven and Brahms.

Staatskapelle Dresden will perform Brahms Symphony No.1 and No.4 on November 17 at the Sejong Center, Beethoven Symphony No.6, Op.68 in F major “Pastorale” and Symphony No.5, Op.67 in c minor on November 18 at the Seoul Arts Center, and Brahms Symphony No.4 and Beethoven Symphony No.5 on November 19 at the Incheon Multiculture and Arts Center.

Noted for the sounds of its deep and rich strings, the orchestra is the living evidence of Western musical history. Established in 1548 by Elector Moritz of Dresden, Saxony, a region in Eastern Germany, the lists of works premiered by the orchestra include those from Vivaldi, Wagner, Schumann, Liszt, R Strauss, and Hindemith to Zimmermann and Kantscheli in modern times, among others.

Also, Heinrich Schütz, Carl Maria von Weber, Richard Wagner, Karl Böhm, and Giuseppe Sinopoli among others have worked as musical directors here, while in the 20th century, Richard Strauss worked closely with Dresden for 67 years as a conductor and composer. Bernard Haitink has been chief conductor, while Colin Davis has been the honorary conductor since 2002.

Chung Myung-whun and the Staatskapelle Dresden held a tour of eight cities in the U.S. in April last year, which was noted as a “majestic and heartfelt performance” (New York Times), “…allowed the velvety depth of tone that has been the Staatskapelle`s outstanding trait for centuries to blossom and flow…” (Chicago Sun Times).

Performance times are 7:30 p.m., November 17 at Grand Theater, Sejong Center, 8:00 p.m., November 18 at Concert Hall, Seoul Arts Center, and 6:00 p.m., November 19 at Main Performance Hall, Incheon Multiculture and Arts Center. The ticket prices range from 10,000 to 130,000 won. For further information, call 02-518-7343.