On this tour, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra reunites with Artistic Partner Teodor Currentzis and his MusicAeterna Choir for a lush programme featuring works of Johannes Brahms and Morton Feldman.
The tour begins in the city of Perm, Russia, which is the artistic home of Teodor Currentzis and the MusicAeterna Choir. This is the first visit to Perm for the MCO, and the performance will be a highlight of the annual International Diaghilev Festival, of which Teodor Currentzis is the Artistic Director. From Perm the orchestra travels to Moscow, last visited with MCO founding mentor Claudio Abbado in 2012. Moving further west the MCO revisits Konzerthaus Dortmund, and completes this tour at the world renowned Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg. The Mahler Chamber Orchestra has worked closely with Konzerthaus Dortmund for over a decade of exceptional concerts and MCO Academy projects, and has performed in the Elbphilharmonie six times since its opening in January 2017.
This programme features three works, each a meditation on loss, repose for those who have passed, and the power of music to console in times of deep personal anguish. Written in 1869, the Alt Rhapsodie of Johannes Brahms (1833 – 1897) is a setting of excerpts from Goethe's poem, An Autumn Journey in the Harz Mountains, for alto, male chorus, and orchestra.
Madame Press died last week at ninety, by American composer Morton Feldman (1926 – 1987), is a delicate reflection by the composer on the death of his childhood piano teacher, Vera Maurina-Press. Touching in its simplicity, the motive of a falling third occurs 90 times, once for each year in the life of Madame Press. This piece is scored for a 12-member ensemble of chimes, celeste, cello, double bass, flute, horn, trumpet, trombone, and tuba, and was composed in 1970.
The programme concludes with Ein deutsches Requiem op. 45 of Johannes Brahms, composed between 1865 and 1868. With the omission of violins in the first movement, the programme continues in the beautiful, lower sonority of the two previous works. Differing from the requiem texts of the catholic liturgy, which begins with prayers for the deceased, Ein deutsches Requiem speaks to the living, those who are mourning: "Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted." (Selig sind, die da Leid tragen.)
Soprano Nadezhda Pavlova, alto Wiebke Lehmkuhl and baritone Dimitris Tiliakos join the Mahler Chamber Orchestra for this programme.