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Sep 22

Bruckner 9 in Altenberg Cathedral

Altenberg, Dom
20:00 Uhr

Before indulging in a "divine" symphony at our guest performance in Altenberg, our orchestra will first present a magical piece by the Hungarian György Ligeti. Ligeti was neither a believer nor an atheist, saying: "There are other possibilities." At any rate, his works often convey the feeling that he was thinking of cosmic spheres when composing them. The sensual soundscapes of "Lontano" sometimes seem to come from a great distance: the orchestra produces bodies of sound that oscillate mysteriously between the completely alien and strangely familiar. The piece’s musical fabric is multicoloured, buzzing, and full of tension – and is as magnificent as Bruckner's symphonies, which Ligeti cited as one of his sources of inspiration. The Austrian composer penned many works expressing his profound religiousness, as evidenced by this touching remark: "I think that if things went wrong at the Last Judgment, I would like to hold the score of the Te Deum out to the Lord God and say: 'Look, I made all this just for you.'" According to oral tradition, he did indeed dedicate his final, climatic symphony "to dear God" in the fervent hope that the latter would accept his musical offering. At the time of Bruckner’s death in 1896, this Ninth Symphony was still only a three-movement torso: a masterly swansong by one of the most important composers in the history of music and an impressive aural journey, with a solemn opening movement, a pounding Scherzo with an interpolated mirage-like Trio, and a final and supremely moving Adagio, which Bruckner characteristically wanted to be understood as a "farewell to life".

Jakub Hrůša Conductor

György Ligeti Lontano
Anton Bruckner Symphonie Nr. 9 d-Moll