8th Symphony Concert 2013/14 //
Alban Berg Konzert für Violine und Orchester „Dem Andenken eines Engels“
Gustav Mahler Sinfonie Nr. 7 e-Moll in fünf Sätzen für großes Orchester
Following her brilliant Weimar debut with the Elgar concert, of which a live recording has just been released on CD, Catherine Manoukian presents another milestone in violin performance history: Alban Berg’s »Dem Andenken eines Engels« which he dedicated to the prematurely departed Manon Gropius in 1935. Although this was the first twelve-tone violin concerto, it is anything but intellectually ›cerebral‹. Rather, it is a highly emotional work that possesses countless nuances of sound. The solo violin line is the ›dramatis persona‹, which embodies the revered angel, her life, her death and her transfiguration – not a programmatic, but rather multifaceted portrayal of a young girl at the edge of an abyss.
Gustav Mahler’s intriguingly heterogeneous 7th symphony also appears to be on the verge of embracing the free compositional principles of New Music – yet always fails to go the final distance. His »Seventh«, however, does share some similarities with Berg’s violin concerto, for example, the atmospheric feeling, the auratic transfiguration and the sense of being torn between dwelling in the past and looking toward the future. For instance, the expressively sharpened opening movement is followed by three subtle character pieces, »night serenades«, which conjure the past as if gazing through a veil. The finale then combines the traditional rondo form with the stylistic opulence and fantastic narrative force which are so characteristic of Mahler. In this, we perceive an ambivalent bliss in the major scale, with which the composer appears to mock his own high ideal of beauty from the perspective of the decadent »fin de siècle«.
Introduction: 6.45 pm in the Flügelsaal I (Weimarhalle). The introduction is given in German.