Friday, 29 October 2010

Gustav Mahler symphony nr 2. Berliner Philharmonie.

Berlin Philharmonics
Sir Simon Rattle conductor
Kate Royal Soprano
Magdalena Kozena Mezzo soprano
Berlin Radio Choir

Arnold Schönberg "A survivor from Warsaw"
for narrator, male chorus and orchestra.
Hanns Zichler narrator

Gustav Mahler symphony nr 2 c-minor. "Auferstehung"
For big orchestra, choir and soloists.

"A survivor from Warsaw" is a dramatic piece written by Schönberg in 1947.
The initial inspiration came from the Russian dancer Corinne Chochem to pay tribute to the jewish victims in the holocaust. They desided to work on the piece together. But it didn't work.
So Schönberg wrote the piece on his own.
The narration depicts a story of a survivor from Warsaw during the second world war. He doesn't remember how he ended up living in the sewers.
He tells the story of how SS soldiers held a roll call group of jews. How the old and young prisoners were beaten beacuse they didn't round up quickly enough.
Six minutes of drama that ends with the words from Deuteronomy 6:7 "and when thou liest down, and when thou riseth up".
Immediatly after six minutes the next piece began just 3 seconds after the last note.
Mahlers second symphony works well together with Schönberg.

Classicalify has heard this symphony live before. But not like this.
Mahler is very special in many ways. He tells the conductor what to do and not to do.
Simon Rattle knows this symphony by heart. It was a performance entirely as Mahler would have wanted it. Everything is here. The fierce tempo and the sound of fire in the first movement that makes you jump almost. A funeral march with people going through different moods.
Second movement ( Andante) is the remembrance of joyful times in the life of a deceased.
The third and fourth movement "Urlicht" are from Das Knaben Wunderhorn.
The fourth movement sung by Magdalena Kozena wife of the conductor, had all the right notes but there was something missing. Classicalify has heard Anna Larsson twice singing this symphony and Anna is just the best. Kozena is to light.
Kate Royal is wonderful in the soprano parts and Classicalify hope to hear her soon again.
The last movement is the longest but worth waiting for. The text is from Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock " Arise again". Telling us that what has died will arise and bring us closer to god.
It is a symphony worth hearing many times. And the Berlin Philharmonic is one of the best orchestras today. Go to Berlin and hear them. It's worth it.

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