Poster JoAnn Falletta
JoAnn Falletta and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra present 'Echoes of Eastern Europe.'
New Classical Tracks®

JoAnn Falletta and Buffalo Philharmonic explore 'Echoes of Eastern Europe'

New Classical Tracks (extended interview) - JoAnn Falletta
New Classical Tracks - JoAnn Falletta
New Classical Tracks - April 10, 2024

JoAnn Falletta and Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra – Echoes of Eastern Europe (Beau Fleuve Records)

“He is related to the Serkins. Rudolf Serkin, the great pianist, was his grandfather and Peter Serkin was his uncle,” conductor Joann Falletta says about composer David Serkin Ludwig. “So, his mother was a Serkin, and he used that as his middle name. And I think that's a nice thing, and Ludwig gets his second name.”

Falletta met him in 2015 and fell in love with his music, especially his Violin Concerto, which appears on her latest recording with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Echoes of Eastern Europe.

The piece that you recorded was commissioned by a consortium of eight major orchestras in 2015. Tell us about this work and how it relates to Ludwig’s lovely wife, Bella Hristova, who is the featured soloist on this recording.

I had the pleasure of working with her in Honolulu with the Hawaii Symphony. But he came along with her and I was so delighted to meet him, because I had heard of David Ludwig and knew some of his music. And they told me about a piece that he had written for her as a wedding gift.

“Bella grew up in Bulgaria, and she never really knew her father. He died when she was very young. But he was a Russian composer, and she had never been able to find any of her father's music. And this is how the wedding gift started, because David actually researched a tremendous amount of music and found a violin concerto written by her father.

“And in that he found a beautiful fragment of a melody that he used in the second movement of this concerto. So not only is it a gift from him, there's a short echo of the music of her father, and I think that was very precious to her, precious to them both.”

When Dvořák was writing his Symphony No. 7, which is featured in this recording, he had also recently lost his mother. How does the grief he was experiencing come through in the work?

In the tenderness of the second movement especially. I think his love for his mother, the beauty of his mother, the way he treasured her and his whole family, I think the movement is colored by that loss.

“This was a man who responded to the people he loved. And, I think that's what makes this music so special to me, that true sincerity and affection.”


JoAnn Falletta and Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra – Echoes of Eastern Europe (Beau Fleuve Records)

JoAnn Falletta and Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra – Echoes of Eastern Europe (Amazon)

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra (official site)

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