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March 16, 2024, 8 pm, Zubin Mehta hall: symphonic concert of Daniele Gatti

Symphonic concert directed by maestro Daniele Gatti, on the podium of the Sala Mehta, Saturday 16 March 2024 at 8 pm 

On the program, compositions by Franz Joseph Haydn, Paul Hindemith and Richard Wagner. 

The concert will be broadcast deferred on Rai Radio 3

Florence, March 14th 2024 – Just twenty-four hours after the premiere of Don Pasquale by Gaetano Donizetti, scheduled for March 15th in the Main Hall, maestro Daniele Gatti, together with the Orchestra del Maggio, 'moves' to the Zubin Mehta Hall for the symphony concert scheduled for Saturday, March 16th at 8pm. On the Orchestra's lecterns a program that embraces almost two centuries of music: opening with one of the best-known compositions by Franz Joseph Haydn, Symphony no. 44 in E minor, known as the Trauer-Symphonie (Funeral Symphony), composed around the beginning of the 1770s and intended primarily for performances in the sumptuous homes of the Esterházy princes, of whose orchestra Haydn was choirmaster. The subtitle Trauer-Symphonie, by which it is known today, is not, however, autograph, as it was probably added some time after the time of composition of the symphony; according to some it perhaps derives from a desire expressed by the composer to want it performed during his funeral.

This is followed by the suite The Noblest Vision, by Paul Hindemith: the inspiration came to the composer from Hanau during the period in which he was in Florence, where he was deeply impressed by Giotto's frescoes in the Church of Santa Croce, especially those depicting Saint Francis of Assisi. The Noblest Vision, which was born as a ballet, was staged for the first time in London in the summer of 1938: Hindemith immediately extracted the suite which was presented in Venice, conducted by the same composer, in September of the same year.

The concert closes with Karfreitagszauber (The Spell of Good Friday) – a musical fresco that describes the awakening of nature with the first morning sun – and an extract from ParsifalRichard Wagner's last masterpiece performed for the first time in July 1882 at the Bayreuth Festival directed by Hermann Levi but remained unreleased in other European theaters until the dawn of 1914.

The next symphonic event by maestro Daniele Gatti is instead scheduled for 13 April 2024, with the inaugural concert of the 86th Festival del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, which will see among the protagonists Sara Blanch (also involved in the performances of Don Pasquale of these days) together with the Maggio Musicale Orchestra and Choir.

The program:

Franz Joseph Haydn
Symphony No. 44 in E minor Trauer-Symphonie (Funeral Symphony), Hob:I:44

Between 1767 and 1772 Haydn created a group of compositions particularly similar to the contemporary instances of the Sturm und Drang in which he experimented with completely new formulas and expressive techniques. Symphony no. 44 in E minor was completed in 1772 and is among the best known of the group also by virtue of the apocryphal name of Trauer-Symphonie (Funeral Symphony) probably linked to a wish expressed by Haydn himself. In fact, it seems that the composer, many years after composing the Symphony in E minor, declared that he appreciated the Adagio so much that he wanted it to be performed at his funeral, which however did not happen. Although there is nothing gloomy in this work, its serious and committed character is also undeniable due both to the minor key, exploited in all its expressive potential, and to the particularly impactful melodies used by Haydn, such as the admirable singing entrusted to the muted violins in the aforementioned Adagio, or the themes full of pathos and excitement that innervate the first and fourth movements.

Paul Hindemith
The Noblest vision, suite

Born in 1938 from the collaboration with the choreographer Léonide Massine, Paul Hindemith's ballet Noble Vision saw the light at the height of the Nazi regime and was the composer's last work before his definitive departure from Germany. The previous year Hindemith had been struck by the cycle of Giotto frescoes on the life of Saint Francis in the church of Santa Croce in Florence. Hence the idea, developed with the choreographer, to make it a ballet; the title in fact refers to the vision of the three women - Humility, Chastity and Poverty - who radically change Francis' life. After the debut in London on 21 July 1938, the author decided to extrapolate five numbers from the original score to make a suite which he himself presented for the first time in Venice on 13 September 1938. The orchestral suite is divided into three macro sections in which , while not respecting the original narrative succession, Hindemith maintains a perfect expressive coherence: from the meditative melodies of the first section in which the saint is described in his retreat in the mountains after having chosen the path of the Lord, to the rhythm of the military march which describes the life of Francis before his conversion and the lyricism that underlines the meeting with the three women in the second part, up to the conclusion of the third section - Laudes creaturerum - built on a grandiose passacaglia with twenty variations.

Richard Wagner
From Parsifal: "Good Friday Spell" (act III)

Baptized by Hermann Levi at the Bayreuth Festival on 26 July 1882, Parsifal is Richard Wagner's last musical drama. In the medieval myth of Parsifal, knight of the Round Table devoted to the search for the Holy Grail, we find themes particularly congenial to Wagnerian poetics. Wagner's Parsifal, the 'pure madman' because he was initially unaware of his destiny, is the one chosen to conserve and defend the holy relic. But the road that leads to revelation is long and full of obstacles and temptations. After having faced and defeated the wizard Klingsor, representative of the world of Evil, and regained the Holy Lance of Salvation, Parsifal wanders aimlessly for an indefinite time, on a journey 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, temple of the knights of the Grail. But the time of redemption is now near and after the rite of investiture and blessing imparted by the elderly knight Gurnemanz, Parsifal sets off for the castle. He plays the Good Friday Spell 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 woodwinds gently fluctuate and the blasts of the brass instruments resonate like echoes of jubilation in the distance: it is the benevolent omen of rebirth and final salvation.