6. Sinfoniekonzert: Zwischen Welten

Works by Hannah Kendall and Gustav Mahler

1 hour 50 minutes, one intermission

For adults and young people from age 12

Dates and tickets

Unfortunately, no further dates are planned for this production.

Hannah Kendall (*1984)
O Flower of Fire – Premiere of the Video Version

Gustav Mahler (1860-1911)
Symphony No. 4 in G major

British composer Hannah Kendall often explores her Guyanese roots in her works, Guyana being a country that was heteronomous for a long time. She transcends borders not only in her sujets, but also in her musical language. Her works breathe more than just music – and therefore this concert, whose limits are extended by performative video art, is a part of our series “more than music”. In her new piece O Flower of Fire, commissioned by the State Orchestra of Lower Saxony – with the kind support of the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation and the Foundation State Orchestra of Lower Saxony – Hannah Kendall will work with the award-winning video artist Akhila Krishnan, who will create its performative composition.

Inspired by both the poetic and the socio-political works of the Guyanese independence activist Martin Carter, in this orchestral work Hannah Kendall addresses the underrepresented issue of colonialism and the ways that society deals with this problem.

“Imagine the undifferentiated cerulean blue […]. That is the basic atmosphere of it all. Only sometimes, it becomes dark and spookily eerie: It isn’t the sky itself, however, that grows dim – it keeps shining in eternal blue.” This is how Gustav Mahler described the mood of his fourth symphony. With Mahler’s usual monumental expansiveness and a duration of over an hour, this symphony ranges between the “serenity of a higher realm, unknown to us” and the earthly-ephemeral. Originally, Mahler had intended the fourth movement "Wir genießen die himmlischen Freuden (We revel in heavenly pleasures)” to be included in his third symphony. But this work’s already more than opulent dimensions led him to transfer his heavenly ideas – and finally resulted in a symphony all of their own. The abundance of carefree and cheerful melodies of this symphony never remains entirely unclouded, a darker element is never far away, the juxtaposition of laughter and tears, of the celestial and the gruesome pervades the entire work. The final movement seems like a climax without climax: Entitled Das himmlische Leben (The Heavenly Life) and created as a lied for soprano and orchestra, this movement eschews any final frenzy of sound but rather fades away quietly, unobtrusively leaving the heavenly world suggested by the music.