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Andris Nelsons and Matthias Goerne with works by Tchaikovsky and Mahler

22/06/2012

Berliner Philharmoniker
Andris Nelsons

Matthias Goerne

  • Gustav Mahler
    Lieder from Des Knaben Wunderhorn (01:07:56)

    Matthias Goerne Baritone

  • Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Symphony No. 5 in E minor (00:54:18)

  • free

    Andris Nelsons on his work with the Berliner Philharmoniker (00:15:40)

The Berliner Philharmoniker say their farewells for this season from the Philharmonie. Andris Nelsons, who enjoys the esteem of the orchestra like few other young conductors, conducts works from the late 19th century. Firstly, Mahler’s songs based on folk poems from the collection Des Knaben Wunderhorn, which are characterized by multifaceted nuances and ambiguities. In striking contrast to this is Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony with its intense, unbridled emotions.

Folk music has a prominent place in Mahler’s work – not only in his lieder, but also in his symphonies. In Mahler’s own words, such elements are an echo of his childhood. Moreover, it is especially the Wunderhorn lieder that reveal the specific quality of this folk poetry: their apparent simplicity and serenity, which, paradoxically, convey happiness and sorrow just as intensely as wordy pathos. The soloist is Matthias Goerne, “one of the best lieder singers of his generation” (Die Zeit). 

In contrast to Mahler’s lieder, Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony is a work which does not shun powerful emotions. Even after its completion, however, the composer complained that the symphony suffered from “pretentiousness”. And Tchaikovsky really does take a big risk in describing here a personal drama of the soul, the struggle between his own self, destiny and hope. With the passage of time Tchaikovsky nevertheless grew to appreciate his work – which is in fact both an impressive and authentic portrayal of human emotions.

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