Mahler aims to make the infinite variety of aspects of our existence audible in his music. He keeps flinging his listeners back and forth between extremes: between the trivial and the exalted, the fleeting and the eternal, compassion and mockery.
His works pass through every kind of world imaginable: innocent birdsong weaves around cynical funeral marches, complex counterpoint struts alongside banal folk music and never-ending elegiac melodies snuggle up to clunky peasant dances.
The first part of this opening concert (Des Knaben Wunderhorn) is dominated by everyday life in a century in which most men were soldiers and women were mothers, but in which real emotions were surely like today’s. The second part (Der Abschied) has a dramatic new depth, in which the everydayness blurs into a time that is no longer measurable or receptive.
Gustav Mahler: Des Knaben Wunderhorn, Der Abschied (Das Lied von der Erde)
Opening concert of the Academic year KU Leuven / Sponsor: Peeters & BNP Paribas Fortis
Pieter Bergé, 19:45, Kleine Aula Maria Theresia
The musicians of Oxalys have been experts in performing the music of the late 19th and early 20th century for over 25 years. This English programme adds a few new jewels to their crown, and after you hear them played, you’ll wonder why each and every one of these pieces isn’t more famous.