1. Sinfoniekonzert //
»The masterpieces of music are incorporating the masterpieces of literature to an ever-increasing degree«, Franz Liszt asserted in 1848. He had just settled in Weimar and was devoting much of his time to achieving his »neo-German« musical-aesthetic goal of uniting music with literature. His »Dante Symphony« is the culmination of these efforts. Here Liszt succeeds in acoustically capturing »the soul of Dantean poetry «. The music plunges the listener into the chaos of the Underworld. But »even art is incapable of portraying heaven«, and thus Paradise must yield to a Magnificat.
Prior to composing the piece, Liszt was occupied with a far more secular topic. For more than 100 years, the manuscript of »Sardanapalo «, an opera based on Lord Byron’s tragedy of the same name, lay hidden in the depths of the Goethe and Schiller Archive in Weimar. Liszt’s plan to compose a major three-act opera in the Italian style never made it past the first act. Now his work is being revived by David Trippett at the University of Cambridge, who spent the last three years working critically on the manuscript, including using Liszt’s own instructions for orchestrating the score. The 2018/2019 concert season opens with the world premiere of the entire first act of this extraordinary work.
Joyce El-Khoury (Sopran)
Charles Castronovo (Tenor)
Oleksandr Pushniak (Bariton)