Franz Joseph Haydn
Symphony in F minor Hob:I:49, The passion
Symphony in B minor Al Santo Sepolcro RV 169
Requiem for strings
Parsifal: prelude act III and Karfreitagszauber (Good Friday music)
Franz Joseph Haydn - Symphony in F minor Hob:I:49, The passion
The Symphony No. 49 in F minor, The passion was composed by Haydn in 1768 for the court of Prince Esterházy. The appellation - which is not an author but was affixed by the publisher for purely commercial purposes - is due to the dramatic and excited spirit of the composition and is connected to the climate of Sturm und Drang, the pre-romantic movement that swept the world of the arts at the end of the eighteenth century. However, the distinctive traits of the symphony, such as the lower pitch of the system, the gloomy and serious climate, the numerous harmonic tensions created by sequences of dissonant chords, the pathos-laden and at times painful attitude, as well as the typical he ancient church sonata - with the alternation of slow movements and animated movements - contributed in the past to fuel the suggestion that behind the composition there was a religious inspiration.
Antonio Vivaldi - Symphony in B minor Al Santo Sepolcro RV 169
In 1703 Antonio Vivaldi was appointed violin teacher at the Hospital of the Pietà in Venice. The assignment, which lasted for over twenty years, marked the beginning of his successful career in the lagoon. Many of the most beautiful pages of instrumental and vocal music of the red priest were in fact composed in those years for the young students of the pious institute who regularly performed in concert on the occasion of Sunday celebrations and festivities of the liturgical calendar. The Symphony in B minor for strings and continuo Al Santo Sepolcro RV 169 was probably composed for the virtuosos of the Ospedale della Pietà on the occasion of Holy Week. Divided into two movements - Adagio molto and Allegro ma poco - the composition has a collected and austere character and provides an essential organic limited to the strings only, without the addition of organ or harpsichord for the realization of the basso continuo. The mystery of Christ's death suggests to Vivaldi a writing that is also essential which deliberately renounces any effect of instrumental fascination and is characterized by the repeated minor second interval, a musical symbol of pain and suffering.
Tōru Takemitsu - Requiem for strings
Author of hundreds of compositions, Toru Takemitsu is the best known and most performed Japanese composer in the world. Key figure of the international music scene of the last century, Takemitsu was an eclectic artist, curious and always ready to receive sound stimuli from other cultures to incorporate them in a strongly identifying musical discourse. Passionate about cinema, Takemistu owes his training in film music to Fumio Hayasaka, teacher, mentor and friend to whose memory he will dedicate the Requiem for strings. Composed in 1957, the Requiem revealed Takemistu's talent to the Western world thanks to the endorsement of Igor Stravinskij who was favorably impressed after listening to him on the radio during a visit to Japan. The page is in a single movement divided into three asymmetrical sections with blurred outlines where silence, a primary element in Takemitsu's aesthetics, plays a fundamental role. In fact, the theme seems to come out of nowhere and after undergoing a series of tortuous elaborations it evaporates in silence, in the illusion of an infinite time.
Richard Wagner - Parsifal: prelude act III and Good Friday music
Christened by Hermann Levi at the Bayreuth Festival on July 26, 1882, Parsifal is Richard Wagner's latest musical drama. In the medieval myth of Parsifal, knight of the Round Table devoted to the search for the Holy Grail, themes particularly congenial to Wagnerian poetics are found. Wagner's Parsifal, the 'pure madman' because initially unaware of his own destiny, is the one chosen to preserve and defend the holy relic. But the way to revelation is long and full of obstacles and temptations. After having faced and defeated the magician Klingsor, representative of the world of Evil, and reconquered the Sacred spear of salvation, Parsifal wanders aimlessly for an indefinite time, on a path of spiritual transformation. Tempered by suffering and driven by faith, at the beginning of the third and final act, he finally arrives at the castle of Montsalvat, the temple of the Knights of the Grail. The intense orchestral Prelude that opens the third act describes the sense of loneliness and dismay felt by Parsifal in his long wandering. But the time of redemption is now near and after the investiture rite and the blessing given to him by the elderly knight Gurnemanz, Parsifal sets off for the castle. The Good Friday Spell resonates in the orchestra, a sound panel of elegiac beauty that describes the awakening of Nature in the first rays of the morning sun. In the enveloping melody of the strings, the sounds of the woods fluctuate gently and the blasts of brass resound like echoes of joy in the distance: it is the benevolent omen of rebirth and final salvation.