“My time will come“, he said Gustav Mahler. And never as now can we say that his time has come. Especially for a symphony like the Second in C minor, ‘Resurrection ‘, chosen by the Academy of Santa Cecilia and its guest principal conductor, the forty-year-old from Brno Jakub Hrůša, to inaugurate the 2021-2022 season yesterday evening at 7.30 pm in the Sala Santa Cecilia of the Auditorium Parco della Musica (reruns tonight at 20.30, tomorrow at 18).
A symbolic choice that alludes to the ‘resurrection’ and the post-pandemic rebirth, for an inauguration that fell on the day when the Government, after the favorable opinion of the CTS, decided to bring the presence of the public in cinemas, theaters and concert halls to 100% of the capacity.
And last night Saint Cecilia is resurrected with the magnificent direction of Hrůša that from the funeral march of the first movement ‘Totenfeier‘(on which the great conductor, highly esteemed by Mahler, Hans von Bülow, in 1888 had given a contemptuous judgment which had caused a creative block in the composer), he led the orchestra and choir through the five movements of the symphony, until the luminous finale (whose “crescendo and progression”, Mahler himself confessed to his friend Nathalie Bauer-Lechner, “are so impressive that I myself, in retrospect, do not know how I managed to obtain them”), exalting the dynamic contrasts with truly telluric fortissimi and extraordinarily perfect pianissimi. In this, helped as well as by magnificent performance of the Orchestra, From one superb performance of the Choir of Santa Cecilia prepared by Piero Monti, with the solo voices of the soprano Rachel Willis-Sorensen and the alto Wiebke Lehmkuhl.
“Talk about ‘Resurrection‘ – explains Sin in an interview in the hall program – it is a bright wish and a manifesto of intent, after the very bad moments that the world of music has gone through. Not only because they wanted to signal a new beginning for Santa Cecilia. But because it is a composition that allows you to involve all the complexes of the institution, that is, its magnificent choir as well as the orchestra “.
The intentions were successful because after an hour and a half of music, the audience in the hall – including the Minister of Economy Daniele Franco, the President of the Constitutional Court, Giancarlo Coraggio, the former Minister of Justice, Paola Severino, the Rai Board Member, Simona Agnes, the President of Fs, the main sponsor of the evening, Marcello Messori and the CEO Luigi Ferraris – has paid applause and ovations to the conductor, the orchestra and especially the choir, true protagonist of the last movement of the symphony, composed between 1888 and 1894, after the death of von Bülow and at whose funeral Mahler was electrocuted listening to the choral on the text of the German poet Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock, entitled ‘Auferstehen’, literally ‘resurrect’. Ode that the composer used with some modifications of his own for the finale of the second symphony.
Hrůša will return to the Academy podium next June (9, 10 and 11) with the symphony n. 9 ‘From the New World’ by Antonín Dvořák and with the rare ‘Missa Glagolitica’ by Leoš Janáček. Meanwhile, the next appointment with the symphonic season of Santa Cecilia is Wednesday 13 October (repeats Friday 15 and Saturday 16) with the musical director of the Berliner Philharmoniker, Kirill Petrenko, at the helm of the Cecilian Orchestra, and with the pianist Boris Giltburg, in a program including ‘Sea calm and happy journey’ by Felix Mendelssohn, the Piano Concerto no. 2 by Johannes Brahms and ‘La Mer’ by Claude Debussy.
(from Goofy Orlando)