Johannes Brahms: Schicksalslied (Song of Destiny), Op. 54 (1871) 18′
Sofia Gubaidulina: The Lyre of Orpheus for Violin, String Orchestra and Percussion (2006) 25′ – National premiere
Hector Berlioz: Tristia, op. 18: “La mort d’Ophélie” (The Death of Ophelia) (1848) 8′
Lili Boulanger: Psalm 130 “Du fond de l’abîme” (From the Depths of the Abyss) (1917) 25′
Barcelona Symphony Orchestra (OBC)
Marc Bouchkov, violin
Marta Infante, mezzo-soprano
Orfeó Català and Cor de Cambra del Palau de la Música
Ludovic Morlot, conductor
In his Schicksalslied (Song of Destiny), after a long creative process, Johannes Brahms managed to compose a choral and symphonic work conspicuous for its profound solemnity, right from the opening bars. It is inspired by an eponymous poem featured in Friedrich Hölderlin’s Hyperion which contrasts the divine with the human, in the awareness of human mortality. Brahms accomplishes this through a broad spectrum of orchestral colours and rhythmic contrasts, with long phrases that fade into a conciliatory finale. Although it is on a far different scale, it is a work that has been identified as having a similar spirit to his Ein deutsches Requiem (A German Requiem).
Sofia Gubaidulina is a leading exponent of spirituality in contemporary music. “The Lyre of Orpheus”, the first part of the triptych Nadeyka, is a particularly memorable work by the composer, written for Gidon Kremer and dedicated to the memory of Gubaidulina’s daughter.
In La Mort d’Ophélie (The Death of Ophelia), one of three pieces for chorus and orchestra from the Tristia cycle, Hector Berlioz set to music Ophelia’s tragic death, from the fourth act of Hamlet, in a musical poem of supreme delicacy. Originally written for voice and piano, it was later orchestrated with great skill by the French composer.
Even before her own premature death, Lili Boulanger always had close connections with the subject. Du fond de l’abîme (From the Bottom of the Abyss), written at the age of just 24 in memory of her father and based on Psalm 130, is a clear masterpiece, offering indications of what she might have gone on to write if she had not died the following year.
This concert is included in the program of the Barcelona Obertura Spring Festival 2023