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Concert

Tue
25
Jan 22

Gustav Mahler: 2nd Symphony

Abo B
Bamberg, Konzerthalle
20:00 Uhr

This concert ventures into the thrilling spheres of an epic work by the symphonic philosopher Gustav Mahler, who once confessed: »When I listen to music – even while conducting – I often hear very specific answers to all my questions, and am completely clear and certain.« Mahler was always interested in the intellectual currents of his time, and had a thirst for knowledge that naturally was reflected in his music. The musicologist Constantin Floros has referred to this attitude as »Mahler's intellectual curiosity«. Mahler's thinking and composing usually centred on philosophical, religious, and existential questions. His Second Symphony, premiered in 1895 and nicknamed the »Resurrection Symphony«, is one of the symphonies that explores his worldview. The eternal human questions of death and resurrection are evoked in a massive symphonic fresco – incorporating the human voice as the »ultima ratio« of musical annunciation. Mahler called the poignant opening movement »Totenfeier« (funeral ceremony); in the second movement, the light-hearted melodies of the Ländler, a country dance, are heard; and the Scherzo presents a transformation of the song from »Des Knaben Wunderhorn« about St. Anthony's futile sermon to the fish – until finally the chant of the »Urlicht« (primal light) rises up, intensifying into fervent pleading: »Ich bin von Gott und will wieder zu Gott« (»I am of God and want to return to God«). The Finale, which Mahler says represents a »Great Summons«, at first is characterised by highly agitated outbursts, including an offstage orchestra. But then, as if from another world, a lonely birdcall from the piccolo is heard, and Klopstock's »Resurrection Ode« rises as if by magic – very cautiously at first, but Mahler gradually increases the tension as the music progresses, coming to a gripping climax in the words: »Sterben werd’ ich, um zu leben! Auferstehen, ja auferstehen wirst du!« – »I will die in order to live! You will be resurrected, yes, resurrected!«

Jakub Hrůša Conductor
Wiener Singakademie (choir director: Heinz Ferlesch)
Christina Landshamer Soprano
Wiebke Lehmkuhl Alto

Gustav Mahler Symphonie Nr. 2 c-Moll

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