NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra / Thomas Hampson / Alan Gilbert
  • Classical Music

© Jiyang Chen

»Peace, peace on Earth!« Arnold Schoenberg’s message in his choral work »Friede auf Erden« is unequivocal. But it’s also an illusion: the composer was not the only one to admit as much after he had completed the score. Recent events in the political arena make this plain to us all. But the improbability of achieving peace on earth makes it all the more important to repeat these words as often as possible. And this prompted Alan Gilbert to choose this Late Romantic work to open the Hamburg International Music Festival 2024. »War and Peace« is the motto this time, taken from Leo Tolstoy’s famous and timeless novel.

The opening concert with the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra sees the return to the Elbphilharmonie of star baritone Thomas Hampson to sing Kurt Weill’s »Walt Whitman Songs«, which he wrote in American exile in 1941, shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Whitman – whom Weill regarded as the USA’s first original poetic talent – wrote the song texts, some defiant, some moving, during the American Civil War.

The concert comes to an end with Charles Ives’s Fourth Symphony, described by Alan Gilbert as the »big bang of modern American music«. With this 1925 work, the great pioneer of musical collages made his boldest dreams come true: how many different tempos, keys and rhythms can be played at the same time without total chaos resulting? Ives’s exciting score supplies a spectacular answer to this question. Performing the symphony is a great challenge for any orchestra – so great that the composer never lived to hear the four-movement piece played in its entirety. Now Alan Gilbert and his musicians join forces with the Prague Philharmonic Choir in this musical adventure.

PERFORMERS

NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester orchestra

Prager Philharmonischer Chor choir

Thomas Hampson baritone

Luká Vasilek choir rehearsal

Alan Gilbert conductor

PROGRAM

Samuel Barber
Adagio for Strings, Op. 11

Charles Ives
Songs My Mother Taught Me

Charles Ives
Tom Sails Away

Charles Ives
Memories: a. Very Pleasant; b. Rather Sad

Charles Ives
The Housatonic at Stockbridge

Charles Ives
The Things Our Fathers Loved

Kurt Weill
Four Walt Whitman Songs

- Interval -

Arnold Schönberg
Friede auf Erden (Peace on Earth) for Mixed A-Cappella Choir, Op. 13

Charles Ives
Symphony No. 4

This is an entry from the Event database for the Hamburg metropolitan area.
No liability is assumed for the correctness of the data.
© Iwan Baan

Elbphilharmonie (Großer Saal)

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