GIUSEPPE VERDI • Messa da Requiem
Duration of concert approx. 1 hour 30 minutes.
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Untitled, © Eva Schlegel
Verdi and Wagner: of course, the Vienna Philharmonic, that towering pillar of the Salzburg Festival, which performs in four opera productions and its own concert cycle, also pays tribute to the double anniversary of these two contradictory composers – both of whom had enormous influence on the musical history of the 19th century in their very own ways – together with choice soloists and conductors. Preceded by the lyrical Siegfried-Idyll, Lorin Maazel will conduct the sweeping first act of Wagner’s Walküre, in which profound desperation gives way to a celebration of lust and life that transcends all boundaries. On the other hand, there will be Verdi’s Requiem, that grandiose and monumental mass for the dead, where empathetic subjectivity is always undermined by fundamental doubt – Riccardo Muti conducts this grand work. Furthermore, there are two impressive Fifth Symphonies, each of them modern in its own way: one by Gustav Mahler – conducted by Zubin Mehta – which begins with a funeral procession but then, not unlike Die Walküre’s first act, breaks through the darkness into the light. Then there is Anton Bruckner’s Fifth, in which the Upper Austrian master made use of the ancient arts of chorale and counterpoint in order to create a ceremonious, religious aura, erecting a sacred building of sound with a mystical resonance, the rendition of which has long been Christian Thielemann’s rightful claim to fame. In the beginning, however, Nikolaus Harnoncourt takes the podium to lead the orchestra in Haydn’s oratorio Die Jahreszeiten, in which man is portrayed as a part of nature and its cyclical transformations – clad in often onomatopoeic, immediately understandable sounds heeding Rousseau’s appeal to “Return to nature!” – an appeal that has long acquired new urgency in our times.
Translated by Alexa Nieschlag
by Alexander Pereira and Florian Wiegand
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