1. Sinfoniekonzert: Ewigkeit

Works by György Kurtág, Richard Strauss, Gustav Mahler and Paul Hindemith

1 hour 40 minutes, one intermission

For adults and young people from age 12

Dates and tickets

Unfortunately, no further dates are planned for this production.

György Kurtág (*1926)
Stele op. 33

Richard Strauss (1864-1949)
Death and Transfiguration op. 24

Gustav Mahler (1860-1911)
Blumine. Symphonic Movement

Paul Hindemith (1895-1963)
Sinfonie Mathis the Painter

Transience, remembrance and legacy are universal topics that everyone has to consider during their lifetime. Artists frequently immortalise their associations in their works, sharing their most profound thoughts with us. The State Orchestra of Lower Saxony Hanover and General Music Director Stephan Zilias will bring some fulminant musical works that were created for eternity to life in this symphony concert for the opening of the new concert season.

With the work Stele for a full orchestra, György Kurtág, one of the most significant composers of the 21st century sets a monument at the very beginning. The Hungarian composer had initially written only a piano composition in 1993, in memory of the then influential conductor, composer and mentor András Mihály. In 1994, Kurtág created an orchestral version of this musical tombstone, commissioned by Berliner Philharmoniker. The sound-planes which Kurtág weaves from delicate frictions and harmonies, and which he interrupts repeatedly with accents and echoes full of tension, sound eerily spherical. Richard Strauss’ symphonic poem Tod und Verklärung (Death and Transfiguration) also became a musical monument. At only 25 years old, the composer contemplated the transience of mortal life and the fulfilment of creative ideals in eternity. Dramatic and magical in turn, a dying artist’s life passes by his inner eye in the form of music.

Gustav Mahler was also barely 25 years old when he composed Blumine, a symphonic movement that had originally been a theatrical score, was then integrated into his 1st Symphony and later removed again. Trumpet and oboe exchange solos with each other and unfold a charming melody.

Paul Hindemith’s symphony in three movements Mathis der Maler (Mathis the Painter) is often called a musical triptych. While he was working on his opera of the same name, Wilhelm Furtwängler asked him for an orchestral work and Hindemith assembled it in 1933. Both the opera and the symphony are based on the life of Renaissance-painter Matthias Grünewald and the symphony in particular is inspired by his famous Isenheim Altarpiece. The powerful sound of the work was a great success with the audience, but ultimately resulted in the composer’s emigration: The National Socialists called for a boycott of the opera and Hindemith’s work in general because the protagonist of the work showed a great deal of moral courage.