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Symphonic Season 20-21

The Song of the Earth

  • Dates 6, 7 and 8 November 2020
  • Ticket prices €25 / €35 / €45 / €55
  • Hall Hall 1 Pau Casals
  • Cycle Symphonic Season 20-21

The Siegfried Idyll shines as one of the most unique and detailed gems of Richard Wagner’s catalogue. Far from his ostentatious orchestral performances, the reduced ensemble (only fifteen performers) and the intimate tone of this work find their explanation in their original function: the author wrote this brief work as a birthday present for his wife Cosima Wagner, for whom he played it on the stairs of their home on Christmas morning. In spite of borrowing some leitmotifs from Der Ring des Nibelungen, the title does not refer to the eponymous opera but to the name of their eldest son, Siegfried Wagner.

Gustav Mahler, a conductor and an expert in Wagner’s music, composed The Song of the Earth as a great symphonic structure: six translations of Chinese poems arranged into four blocks respectively corresponding to the movements of a symphony. The luxuriant sound universe full of references typical of the composer is combined with the many Chinese evocations in the poems: resting, in the author’s dramatic last years, in the refuge offered by the beauty and transience of worldly affairs seen from a puzzled and dualistic point of view. The work was first performed posthumously under the baton of Bruno Walter.

Richard Wagner: Siegfried-Idyll for chamber orchestra, WWV 103 (1870) 18'
Gustav Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde (The Song of the Earth), for chamber orchestra (1908/arranged by Glen Cortese in 2004) 60'

Barcelona Symphony Band (OBC)

Ilker Arcayürek, tenor
José Antonio López, baritone
Matthias Pintscher, conductor

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