Sunday, November 19, 2017, 03:00 PM EST (UTC-5) / 10:00 PM EET (UTC+2) – Richard Strauss: Don Juan, & Burleske in D minor for piano and orchestra | Johannes Brahms: Symphony No.2 in D major – Bertrand Chamayou, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Fabien Gabel – Live on Livestream

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Gustav Mahler: Symphony No.7 in E minor – Lucerne Festival Orchestra, Claudio Abbado (HD 1080p)

In Memoriam Claudio Abbado (26/06/1933 - 20/01/2014)

Η Έβδομη Συμφωνία του Γκούσταβ Μάλερ, η επονομαζόμενη «Νυχτερινό τραγούδι», μολονότι ο ίδιος ο συνθέτης είχε αποκηρύξει αυτόν τον συμπληρωματικό τίτλο, έχει διάρκεια 70 λεπτά περίπου και είναι πενταμερής, αλλά τα δύο Νυχτερινά της (μέρη 2 και 4) είναι προγενέστερα των υπολοίπων. Η Εβδόμη συνιστά ίσως το πλέον προηγμένο δείγμα μοντερνισμού στο σύνολο του έργου του Μάλερ. Η τονική δομή της είναι περίπλοκη. Οι μελετητές και αναλυτές της μουσικής του Μάλερ υποστηρίζουν ότι, με την Έβδομη Συμφωνία, ο συνθέτης επιστρέφει «στο ιδανικό της προοδευτικής τονικότητας, το οποίο είχε εγκαταλείψει στην Έκτη». Για τον Άρνολντ Σένμπεργκ, η Έβδομη Συμφωνία του Μάλερ, αντιπροσωπεύει τη στιγμή της τελικής κατάρρευσης του ρομαντισμού, μια κατάρρευση που συμπαρέσυρε κάθε παραδοσιακή συμφωνική μορφή και κάθε έννοια τονικότητας.

Καθόλου τυχαία, η Εβδόμη είναι η λιγότερο γνωστή από τις εννέα Συμφωνίες του Μάλερ. Αυτό οφείλεται στη συνολική νοηματική της απροσδιοριστία. Η ομιχλώδης διάθεση του πρώτου μέρους, ένα «Νυχτερινό» γεμάτο απόηχους της φύσης, το περίφημο «σκιώδες» Σκέρτσο, γκροτέσκα στοιχεία, συναισθηματική νοσταλγία. Το φινάλε, ένα ορχηστρικό πανδαιμόνιο: «Και τώρα, το φως της ημέρας», είχε πει ο ίδιος ο Μάλερ για το τελευταίο μέρος της Συμφωνίας του. Η πρώτη εκτέλεση του έργου πραγματοποιήθηκε στις 19 Σεπτεμβρίου 1908 στην Πράγα, υπό τη διεύθυνση του συνθέτη.

Την Ορχήστρα του Φεστιβάλ της Λουκέρνης διευθύνει ο Κλαούντιο Αμπάντο. Η συναυλία δόθηκε στο πλαίσιο του Φεστιβάλ της Λουκέρνης το 2005, στο Πολιτιστικό και Συνεδριακό Κέντρο της πανέμορφης ελβετικής πόλης.

The thing that triggers the creative mind doesn't have to be high-flown or complicated. It can be something as small and trivial as the splashing of an oar.

That was Mahler's experience in the summer of 1905. He was taking his usual summer break from the exhausting labour of running the Imperial Opera in Vienna, and once again had retreated to his lakeside hut at Maiernigg to compose. He was desperate to complete the new symphony – the Seventh – that he'd begun the previous summer, immediately after finishing the Sixth.

But things didn't go according to plan, as he recalled in a letter to his wife Alma written years later: "Two weeks long I tortured myself to distraction, as you may well remember… until I escaped to the Dolomites! There the same struggle, and finally I gave up and went home in the conviction that this summer was lost to composition". Then, when Mahler got into a boat to be rowed across the Worthersee lake "at the first dip of the oars I found my theme (or better, the rhythm and manner) of the introduction to the first movement".

It's a marvellous story, and the idea that the splashing engendered was a fine one – a kind of heavy, funereal tread, with a doleful outcry scored for the rarely-heard tenor horn. But it must be said it's not so far from the doleful trombone theme of the funeral march at the beginning of the Third Symphony. And, in general, the echoes between the Seventh and Mahler's earlier symphonies, especially the previous two, are disconcertingly strong. It has the same five-movement ground plan as the Fifth Symphony: a funeral march leading to a blazing optimistic finale via an extraordinarily varied landscape. The echoes of the Sixth are even more insistent. The sound of cowbells recurs, though this time they seem jolly and everyday rather than otherworldly. And the Fate motif – a major chord darkening to minor – also rears up, though now it seems a shadow of its former self.

And that's the problem – the sense that the Seventh Symphony gives of being the second or even third pressing of the grape skins. The other thing that makes this the "problem" symphony among the nine is its form. The two movements Mahler wrote in 1904 are amazingly inventive, but they both have the quality of a nocturne, that favourite form of the Romantic era. Can one symphony really encompass two nocturnes without losing its way? And the finale has an unremitting jollity which can seem forced. The philosopher Adorno, one of Mahler's great admirers, speaks sniffily of the "disproportion between the splendid exterior and the meagre content of the whole".

So much for the debit side. On the positive side, it must be said that this symphony has a peculiar fascination. Music critic Michael Kennedy calls it Mahler's most glamorous symphony, and there is truly something seductive in the sheer sonorous weave of the orchestration.

The second nocturne in particular is fabulous, its flecks of guitar and mandolin evoking a stroll through a Mediterranean town at dusk. It opens with an ambiguous phrase which could be the beginning or the end of something, a nice piece of Haydn-like wit. The "shadowy" scherzo that sits bang in the middle of the symphony has a fascinating quality of being both harmless and genuinely sinister.

Overall, the symphony gives a sense of a pageant, something observed objectively from afar, with a mocking and affectionate eye, rather than entered into.

Source: Ivan Hewett, 2010 (

Gustav Mahler (1860-1911)

♪ Symphony No.7 in E minor, Lied der Nacht (Song of the Night) (1904-1905)

i. Langsam – Allegro
ii. Nachtmusik I
iii. Scherzo
iv. Nachtmusik II
v. Rondo: Finale

Lucerne Festival Orchestra
Μουσική διεύθυνση (Conductor): Claudio Abbado

Directed by Michael Beyer

Lucerne Culture and Congress Center (KKL), Lucerne Festival 2005

(HD 1080p)

Πρώτη δημοσίευση: 31 Ιανουαρίου 2015 – First publication: January 31, 2015
Τελευταία ενημέρωση: 25 Ιανουαρίου 2016 – Last update: January 25, 2016

Δείτε επίσης – Watch also

Hector Berlioz: Grande Messe des morts (Requiem) – Gustavo Dudamel (Notre-Dame de Paris 22-01-2014, HD 1080p)

A Russian Night: Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov & Stravinsky – Hélène Grimaud, Claudio Abbado (Full HD 1080p)

Hélène Grimaud talks about Claudio Abbado

Gustav Mahler: Symphony No.1 in D major "Titan" – Lucerne Festival Orchestra, Claudio Abbado (HD 1080p)

Gustav Mahler: Symphony No.4 in G major – Magdalena Kožená, Claudio Abbado

Gustav Mahler: Symphony No.5 in C Sharp minor – Lucerne Festival Orchestra, Claudio Abbado

Johann Sebastian Bach: Brandenburg Concertos, BWV 1046-1051 – Giuliano Carmignola, Claudio Abbado (Audio video)

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Symphony No.6 in B minor – Claudio Abbado (HD 1080p)

Sergei Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No.3 in C major – Yuja Wang, Claudio Abbado

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Ach, ich fühl's (Pamina's Aria from The Magic Flute) – Anna Prohaska, Claudio Abbado

Johannes Brahms: Hungarian Dances – Wiener Philharmoniker, Claudio Abbado (Audio video)

Claudio Abbado – Hearing the Silence: Sketches for a portrait (2003) / The silence that follows the music (1996) – Two films by Paul Smaczny

Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No.3 in E flat major, ii. Adagio assai – Daniel Barenboim (Concert in memory of Claudio Abbado)

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