mann med skjegg på kafè

Love and Farewell

Schumann – Mahler – Byström

An evening filled with the strongest feelings of all. Darkness and Love. This is what you can expect when chief conductor Christian Kluxen, the symphony orchestra and mezzo-soprano Astrid Nordstad enter the stage.

Dates and tickets

Kluxen has planned the dramaturgy of this concert carefully. The concert is constructed with works which take us through love, farewell, suffering, faith and parallel universes.

The main work is Schumann’s 2nd symphony. “This is the most tragic symphony ever written in C major”, says Kluxen. We notice the composer’s inner battle through mania and depression. This evening will not end in triumph. According to Kluxen this is something we find in nearly all the works by another composer, Gustav Mahler.

Fascinated by the Resurrection

Mahler was Jewish, but he was fascinated by the Protestant way of looking upon the Resurrection. He always wanted to make the point that heavenly life is greater than life on earth. Schumann never got to this stage. He had enough with his inner conflicts, something we can hear very clearly in the first violins in the 2nd movement. In the trio part he makes the notes B-A-C-H part of the motive. He also uses a cadence with strong connections to A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Mendelssohn. “I see that Schumann is thanking Mendelssohn on purpose for having resurrected Bach’s music. This is where everything begins and ends, both musically and existentially”, says Kluxen.

“In the 3rd movement, Adagio Espressivo, I might be overthinking the content of the melody line. If you take the Lacrimosa part of a requiem, then it nearly fits completely in with this movement”.

Lacrimosa dies illa
Qua resurget ex favilla
Judicandus homo reus.
Huic ergo parce, Deus:
Pie Jesu Domine,
Dona eis requiem. Amen

After the interval we continue in C major with Gustav Mahler’s Blumine. Mahler removed this movement from his 1st symphony, but nobody knows why. “In Mahler’s music we often find that he is very clear about what he wants to convey, but here we find an uncertainty”, says Kluxen. Maybe removing this movement can be related to the drama between Robert Schumann, Clara Schumann and Johannes Brahms. There are many parallels to these three in Mahler’s music. Clara Schumann also wrote music to a poem by Friedrich Rückert. Mahler made this poem more well-known through his Rückert-Lieder. We will hear these lieder sung by mezzo soprano Astrid Nordstad. In the lieder we hear about how the artist suffers for his art, and how the art makes him lost for this world.

Christian Kluxen says that we find Schumann’s distress in all his works. The concert ends with his Abendlied, orchestrated by the Norwegian, Johan Svendsen.

Parallel Universes

We are very much looking forward to this programme, put together by Christian Kluxen. The concert will open with Britta Byström’s work Parallel Universes, commissioned by the BBC for the Proms in 2021. The work is inspired by Swedish American cosmologist Max Tegmark’s theory about parallel universes, where we can meet exact copies of ourselves.

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