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Aleix Palau | 27 September 2022

Ludovic Morlot opens the new season at L’Auditori with his first concert at the helm of the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra

The French conductor will conduct the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra performing Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 and Let me tell you by Hans Abrahamsen, this season’s guest composer, accompanied by sopranos Carolyn Sampson and Audrey Luna.
The monumental work Phonos, by visual and sound artist Marc Vilanova, will be on display in the Foyer of Hall 1 Pau Casals until 29 January.

Ludovic Morlot opens the new season at L’Auditori with his first concert at the helm of the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra

The 2022-23 season at L’Auditori opens with Ludovic Morlot’s first concert as resident conductor of the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra. This season’s theme is entitled 3rd movement: Death or Return, the final part of the trilogy designed by the Director of L’Auditori, Robert Brufau, based on a three-stage life cycle that began in 2020-21 with 1st movement: Creation and continued last season with 2nd movement: Love and Hate.

The inaugural concert will take place on Friday 30 September and the programme will also be performed on 1 and 2 October. On his first appearance with the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, Ludovic Morlot will conduct Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 in G major and Let me tell you by this season’s guest composer (alongside Sofia Gubaidulina) Hans Abrahamsen, a work commissioned by the Berlin Philharmonic. The concert will feature two well-known names from the international vocal circuit, sopranos Carolyn Sampson singing the Mahler work and Audrey Luna performing Abrahamsen’s composition.

Morlot was chosen to head the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra for the next four seasons after a long search for a resident conductor who would take L’Auditori in a new artistic direction. The decision was the culmination of hard work by the artistic management of L’Auditori with the support and involvement of the members of the Orchestra.

Ludovic Morlot’s ambitious plans for this new phase include building up the orchestra’s online presence, producing new recordings, international residencies, programmes for developing talent and helping the orchestra to grow, as well as bringing new talent into the OBC family.

The programme of this inaugural concert will give audiences the opportunity to see how comfortably Morlot moves between the traditional classical repertoire and new works.

Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 presents a child's vision of heaven with a creative twist, using the rich timbre of the orchestra to paint a luminous, nostalgic and beatific picture. The final movement is a lieder based on a popular poem from Des Knaben Wunderhorn (The Boy's Magic Horn), following a long and deeply tragic third movement. A symphonic piece of great personal spirituality, it broke new ground in its day, illustrating the inexhaustible imagination of a composer who changed the history of the genre.

The second work commissioned by the Berlin Philharmonic from Hans Abrahamsen is Let me tell you, a cycle of finely spun songs with moments of pure lyricism, based on the novel of the same name by Paul Griffiths, telling the story of Hamlet’s Ophelia from her own perspective. The score, with its theatrical feel, has been well received throughout Europe since its first performance.

Marc Vilanova’s Phonos on display in the Foyer
Meanwhile, the installation Phonos, by visual and sound artist Marc Vilanova, will be on display in the Foyer of Hall 1 Pau Casals until 29 January. The monumental sculpture is made of recycled loudspeakers that, instead of producing sound, move elegantly at subsonic frequencies (below our range of hearing).

This spectacular work by saxophonist and sound artist Marc Vilanova plays with the limits of our aural perception. Built from 26 audio interfaces, 104 amplifiers and 208 speaker cones with their diaphragms removed, we see the movements of electromagnets dancing at frequencies below our hearing threshold (at below 20 beats per second we no longer perceive a continuous tone, just an independent, regular, sequential ebb and flow).

The choreographed trembling of the speakers, the fragility of its parts, and the friction between them, turn this sculptural installation into a truly startling new musical instrument.

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