Academy
Myung-Whun Chung
Myung-Whun Chung
from May 5, 2021 to May 5, 2021
from May 5, 2021 to May 5, 2021
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Gustav Mahler
Symphony No. 2 in C minor for soloists, choir and orchestra, Resurrection
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A grandiose work with a complex gestation, the Symphony n. 2 in C minor for soprano, alto, choir and orchestra engages Mahler for seven years. The first movement was made in 1888, the three central movements date back to the summer of 1893, while the last and impressive movement is dated 1894. The five macro sections into which Symphony no. 2 are therefore born separately and without a pre-established plan, which will take shape in the mind of the composer in itinere, unfolding in its entirety only a posteriori. If the first movement is in poetic continuity with the ending of Symphony n. 1 connecting to the figure of the hero, whose funeral Mahler is now celebrating, the three central movements are conceived by the author as moments of reflection on the experiences lived by the deceased. For the concluding movement Mahler instead feels the urgent need to return to the word 'redemptive', capable of sublimating the musical idea as Beethoven had already experienced in the Ninth Symphony. The inspiration comes from a lived life experience. During the funeral of the conductor and colleague Hans von Bülow, Mahler listens to a choral hymn on Klopstock's ode Die Auferstehung and the lighting is immediate: his Second Symphony will conclude with a grandiose movement entrusted to the human voice, with the intervention of the soprano and of the choir. The Resurrection of Klopstock will establish the point of arrival of the long journey from death to the celestial rebirth that substantiates his new creation. As in the Symphony no. 1, here too the musical materials used by Mahler are numerous and heterogeneous: the choral built on the initial notes of the Dies Irae combined with the funeral march rhythm that cadences the first movement, the Ländler with a Schubertian flavor of the second movement, the Lieder taken from the beloved collection Des Knaben Wunderhorn - The sermon to the fishes of Saint Anthony of Padua constitutes the theme of the Scherzo, while Urlicht is sung as a tender chant from the alto voice in the fourth movement - and then again sounds of nature, apocalyptic blasts and marches that celebrate the final resurrection. Passing through the enchanted and dreamy world of the Wunderhorn, Symphony n. 2 unites the hero's earthly death and his rebirth at the Last Judgment in an imposing sonorous polyptych, where the transfiguration can only be achieved through the experience of pain.