The dark and flamboyant Mahler – WebThéâtre :: News about shows, theatre, opera, music, dance
FROM ALL NEW INTERPRETATIONS of a well-known work of the repertoire, whether choreographic, theatrical, lyrical or symphonic, we always want it to more or less explicitly impose itself on us as an event, or at least have the power to reawaken our familiarity with it. in question, even if we most often nurture much less ambitious projects: to settle comfortably into listening, to discover familiar landmarks unscathed… But in music, nothing happens to the listener how he has prepared it… and that’s a nice thing! So that Third Symphony from Mahler, interpreted on January 20 at the Philharmonie de Paris by the Orchester philharmonique de Strasbourg conducted by Aziz Shokhakimov, he takes up the challenge of enchanting interpretation with its blend of telluric power and miniaturism, while retaining its mysterious and secret dimension – thereby holding the listener in a clamping motion ( to their greatest delight) between the luxurious landscape spread before their eyes and the mysterious line drawing, maintained as such.
For this symphonic monument if it ever existed, with its scope, its philosophical ambition, its project to represent nature and the rich sound sources that Mahler applied there, it undoubtedly required an orchestra and a conductor who had the ability to do so. the acoustic space suggested by the composer, to fill it entirely, while also taking diametrically opposite risks: daring to be almost non-existent, voice so feeble, holding onto the threads of the intriguing strangeness of those moments when the entire great orchestra swings into the microcosm.
Despite the emotional commitment of the performers, including the soloists and the chorus (and of course the orchestral technique, unparalleled here, of OPS and its conductor), it is essentially a question of suggesting, through interpretation, the presence of all the more or less underground dimensions, but also the layered fields that Mahler suggested there. Due to Third Symphonymore than any other Mahler symphony, it is about architecture: not only the explicit form, of course (six movements, including a fair amount of orchestral tunes, on the text among the most interesting of those containing So cried Zarathustra of Nietzsche), but also the implicit forms, corresponding to many passing sequences, whose repetition (or not) form a mysterious, more or less nostalgic, more or less difficult in their complexity, more or less harsh and obsessive in their dimensions of reference. belligerent or just polemical …
Moments of heartbreaking poignancy (laendler à la Schubert evoke the softness of a lost Viennese world – let alone illusion…) alternate with skillful instrumental counterpoint sequences, sound textures still unheard of in the late 19th century present to the listener, imagined by an extraordinary artist, capable of creating, through his capricious orchestration playing, sound-blowing effects, wary representations of nature, a kind of origin of the world (the beginning of the first movement, with its hymnistic aspects, the strength of its early martial themes, then the funeral character of the brass, the rocket theme on torn harmonies…).
Mahler, who has written extensively about this symphony, says, for example: “The fact that I call it a Symphony means little, for it bears little resemblance to its usual form. Condition symphony means to me: building a world with all available technical means. ” Thus sensing that this symphony in his work would be the most colossal monument but also the most representative of the totality of his musical conception, he then planned to give it the title “Pan, the symphonic poem”, Pan is at the same time the most luminous god of nature and the name of totality (bang means in Greek: everything). About the first movement, the composer also wrote: “It is almost no longer music, only the sounds of nature. At first, one shudders at this motionless and soulless matter (I have been thinking about giving this work the title: what makes me happy with rocks). However, after that, life gradually regained prominence and, step by step, evolved and distinguished itself up to the higher evolutionary forms: flowers, animals, and humans, we arrived at the spirit realm and the angelic realm. In the preface overpowers all the brutal fervor of the daytime, during the summer, when all life is stifled and no breath disturbs the air, which trembles and blazes, drunken by the sun. It was then that life, still motionless and dead, captive of nature, groaned in the distance, begging to be finally set free. At the first move that starts immediately, he will achieve victory. »
Without going any further into the details of this inexhaustible work, let’s just say the vision spread by Aziz Shikhakimov (at the head of the Orchester philharmonique de Strasbourg, women’s choir and children’s choir of the Orchester de Paris, with the extraordinary intervention of Hungarian mezzo-soprano Anna Kissjudit for the 4th and 5th movements) manages to bring together very diverse and at times seemingly incongruous threads: textural impressionism, expressionist violent accents and vocal conflicts, with their grimaces or their signature Mahlerian irony… Character the subtlety of certain sequences bordering on moments of pure rhythm, the fusion of sense of pulsation and feeling of the ocean, the density and nakedness, the immense capacity for transparency of the orchestra… And most of all, the feeling of immense satisfaction for the listener, which speaks from the generosity of the performers who involved, who invested in this His genius work could be read on the faces of the musicians d the singers and their conductor’s gestures. What a moment!
Photo: Nicholas Roses
Gustav Mahler: Third Symphony in D minor. Anna Kissjudit, mezzo-soprano, Chorus of the Orchester de Paris, Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra, Aziz Shokhakimov, conductor. Philharmonie de Paris – Grande Salle, January 20.