Conductor Claus Peter Flor
Ouverture in C sharp minor for orchestra
Aus Italien, op.16
After graduating from the Conservatory of Santa Cecilia, Giovanni Salviucci (1907-36), between the age of twenty-four and twenty-nine, wrote eight scores, including the Overture (1933), immediately reporting himself as the third composer, with Petrassi and Dallapiccola, on whom the new Italian music could count. The critic Fedele d’Amico wondered what Salviucci would have become had he not died so young: “he would have continued to be, ever more deeply, that indispensable unique composer he was”, that is to say, a composer capable of “forcing a formal contrapuntal conception to a subjective, direct, burning expression, something that was refractory to this treatment. Classic polyphony for Salviucci “was not a refuge in the past, nor squared music, but simply maternal music.” Richard Strauss (1864-1949) was younger than Salviucci when he inaugurated Aus Italien (1887) in the Bavarian capital with the Court Orchestra (where his father Franz Strauss was first horn). Strauss claimed that these were four evocations, “arising from the sight of the magnificent natural beauties of Rome and Naples, and not from their description”. The audience appreciated the first three numbers: On the Roman Campagna, sunset in the Lazio countryside; meditation, between the triumphal and the pensive, In the Ruins of Rome and the suggestive Mediterranean, almost pre-impressionist, At the Beach at Sorrento. The whistles addressed to the last movement, Neapolitan Folk Life (where Strauss also uses the theme of the famous song Funiculì, funiculà by Luigi Denza), aroused the proud reaction of the twenty-three-year-old composer from Munich: Aus Italien is «the first work to provoke the resistance of the multitude – this proves that it must have some value.”
Claus Peter Flor
Acknowledged worldwide as a conductor with an instinctive and incisive musical talent, Claus Peter Flor maintains a prestigious international career. He is renowned for his mastery and interpretation of the Austro-Germanic repertoire (Bruckner, Mahler, Strauss, Brahms, Schumann, and Mendelssohn), as well as of Shostakovich’s works, and he has a particular affinity for the Czech repertoire of Dvorak and Suk, whose pieces he has recorded several times during his tenure as the Music Director of the Malaysian Philarmonic. M° Flor initiated his musical career studying violin in his hometown and in Weimar, before concentrating on conducting with Rolf Reuter and later with Rafael Kubelik and Kurt Sanderling. In 1984, he was appointed to Chief Conductor of the Konzerthausorchester in Berlin and at the same time started regular collaborations with the other main German orchestras: the Gewandhaus in Leipzig and the Staatskapelle in Dresden. In 1988, he debuted with the Berlin Philarmonic, which he also returned to on two other occasions. Throughout his career, he held several posts in a large number of important orchestras worldwide: the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the Zürich Tonhalle Orchestra, and the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, where he operated as Principal Conductor from 2008 to 2014. Upon a personal invitation by Riccardo Chailly (Principal Conductor at the time), Claus Peter Flor was appointed to Principal Guest Conductor of the Symphonic Orchestra Giuseppe Verdi in Milan (2003-2008), with which he developed an intense and in-depth work on the Central European repertoire. His long relationship with the Milanese orchestra culminated with his appointment to Music Director starting from January 2018. In the most recent seasons, he obtained important appraisals from the audience and the critics directing the London Symphony Orchestra (Bruckner’s 4 th Symphony) and the Orchestra of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome with a programme entirely dedicated to Mozart. In the 15/16 season, M° Flor was once again invited by the Tonkünstler Orchestra with concerts at the Grafenegg Festival, by the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, and by the Osaka Philharmonic. Important appointments in the 16/17 season and in the following season include concerts in Europe with the Symphonic Orchestra Giuseppe Verdi from Milan, the RAI in Turin, the Het Gelders Orkest, and the RTE National Symphony in Asia (Japan and China) and the United States (Aspen). As an opera conductor, M° Flor maintains his close collaboration with the Theatre du Capitole in Toulouse. Last season, he conducted a revival of Gounod’s Faust and Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde. During his long collaboration with the Theatre du Capitole, Claus Peter Flor conducted several opera titles, among which were Madama Butterfly by Puccini, Die Zauberflöte by Mozart, and Hansel und Gretel by Humperdinck. He will return next season for a new production of Meyerbeer’s Le Prophète and Wagner’s Die Walküre . His previous collaborations in the field of opera include a production of Wagner’s Siegfried directed by David McVicar at the Strasbourg Opera, and a large number of titles at the Staatsoper in Berlin, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, and the theatres of Munich, Dresden, Hamburg, and Cologne. He conducted Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro and Wagner’s Die Meistersinger at the La Monnaie theatre in Brussels, and has taken the Wagnerian opera on tour to Tokyo, Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte to the Grand Opera in Houston, Weber’s Euryanthe to the Netherlands Opera with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and Puccini’s La Bohème to
the Dallas Opera. Claus Peter Flor has an extensive and varied discography, including recordings with the Bamberg Symphony dedicated to Mendelssohn, which received particular appreciation, and which Sony/BMG recently decided to republish. Among the recordings performed with the Malaysian Philharmonic for the record company BIS, the most noteworthy are no doubt Suk’s Asrael Symphony (2009) and Dvorak’s Symphonies no.7 and n.8 (2012).