The Resurrection Symphony
Thursday, 1st December at 19.30
Friday, 2nd December at 19.30
Chief conductor Edward Gardner has massive powers at his disposal when he opens the season with Gustav Mahler’s boundary-breaking and visionary symphony about the universe and humanity’s struggle for eternal salvation.
Mahler’s gigantic and monumental resurrection symphony addresses humanity’s great questions – life, death and the afterlife, faith and love. The visionary symphony moves from darkness to light, and from death to hope, to life and resurrection. “You are knocked to the ground and then lifted up to the highest peaks on angel wings”, the composer himself is said to have said of the work.
If Mahler doubted an all-powerful god, he perhaps believed more in the redemptive power of love. In a humanistic perspective, resurrection here can be understood as rising from the dead to enter and take part in the full life here and now.
The American conductor Leonard Bernstein chose Mahler’s Second Symphony precisely when the assassinated President Kennedy was to be remembered. Bernstein justified his choice by saying that we must not only pray for the resurrection of those we loved, but also for the mourners’ own hopes to live on. Alan Gilbert did the same when the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York in 2001 was marked.
Chief conductor Edward Gardner has massive forces at his disposal – a large orchestra, two soloists, three choirs, church bells, an organ and a separate ensemble behind the stage.
Gustav Mahler – Symphony No. 2 “Resurrection Symphony”
Edward Gardner, conductor
Marita Sølberg, soprano
Tanja Ariane Baumgartner, alto
Edvard Grieg Choir
Bergen Philharmonic Choir
Håkon Matti Skrede, choir master
Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
18.45: Introduction to the concert by Gunnar Danbolt