Hall: Concert Hall
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It would be impossible to analyse and interpret Gustav Mahler’s music without placing it in the wider context of the composer’s life. Mahler the performer – Mahler the creator; a man of the opera, even though he never composed a single work in this genre; Mahler the Jew – Mahler the Christian; life – death, refinement – banality; the Czech provinces – the glitter of Vienna… This list could go on and on. All the paradoxes that permeated his everyday existence are reflected in what he wrote and constitute an autobiographical subtext for the majority of his works.
In his Symphony No. 5, Gustav Mahler shunned philosophical themes or programme elements and there was no place in it either for solo singers or a choral part. In other words, he discarded all the components that he employed in his first four symphonies, which he himself considered a finished tetralogy. The Symphony also included other features that testified to the stylistic changes that took place in his music: on the one hand, he inserted an almost classical rondo in the finale, and on the other, used a polyphonic texture familiar from the works of Viennese composers at the beginning of the 20th century.
“Even the beautiful must die” are the opening words to the less than fifteen-minute-long cantata Nänie for choir and orchestra, which Johannes Brahms wrote in 1881 to the text of Friedrich Schiller. The title refers to a ritualistic funeral song that accompanied processions of mourners in ancient Rome. Funereal associations are also evoked by Mahler’s Fifth Symphony, the first movement of which is called Trauermarsch (funeral march). The symbolic coda for this elegiac miniature requiem is provided by Mozart’s filigree motet Ave Verum Corpus, comprising only forty-six bars.
The Warsaw Philharmonic Strategic Patron of the Year – PKO Bank Polski – warmly welcomes you to join us in these concerts.