Fate knocking at the door or A cry from afar

July 20, 2024 7:00 pm | Bulgaria Hall

Sofia & Winterthur

Sofia & Winterthur

Beethoven’s Fifth is in a way independent of its siblings - his fateful Fifth. Count Nikolaus Harnoncourt considered it to be an outright political work, and laughed at all the talks of the Fate and its urge for the door to be open; he thought these were the concoctions of Beethoven’s secretary Anton Schindler. The political is concisely adumbrated here in the short formula “In Tyrannos”/“Against the Tyrants”. Deafness did not seem to prevent Beethoven from perceiving clearly the strokes of fate; this is what the great symphony indicates: deaf to the superficial, the inner ear clearly perceives the most important.

…Predestination. Freedom… It does not seem sacrilegious to say that the Bulgarian Rhapsody “Vardar” in a national context has the popularity and the significance Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony has worldwide - or at least - in Europe. The young Vladigerov’s work, based on a melody by his first teacher Dobri Hristov, makes hearts jump, foreheads raise and bodies quiver. It is as if we are in the final scene of “Thus Spoke Zarathustra”: Dance! Laugh! Rise up! - “едничък чу се вик" (“A cry from afar” after the song by Dobri Hristov - the basis of the rhapsody). But “Bulgarian, too Bulgarian”, to paraphrase the creator of “Zarathustra” talking about the creator of the rhapsody, dedicated naively by him “to the Bulgarian youth fighting for independence in Vardar Macedonia”.

Max Bruch’s famous violin concerto is a passionate intermezzo between rhapsody and symphony. A concerto settled comfortably between Brahms, Mendelssohn, Schumann, a work in which - unconventionally - the soloist makes his presence known with a vehement cadenza at the beginning. Then, of course, we do not remember this music merely for this feature! We trust that the interpretation of Kolja Blacher’s very young student Lora Markova will make the tiresomely familiar speak to us in a different, unexpected way…


Sofia&Winterthur - Orchestra

Lora Markova - violin

Simon Wenger - conductor

Slavil Dimitrov - conductor


Pancho Vladigerov (1899 - 1978)

Bulgarian Rhapsody Vardar, Op. 16

Max Bruch (1838 – 1920)

Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 26

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 – 1827)

Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67



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70 min