Wroclaw. Master and Magdalena, or Herreweghe and Kožená at the National Music Forum

Artists who are inspiring and distinguished in their fields will perform in Wroclaw at the National Music Forum. On May 8, prominent singer Magdalena Kožená will perform the mezzo-soprano part of St. Earth Songs – The most personal composition of Gustav Mahler. Professor of historical performance, Philip Herwig, will lead the Orchester des Champs-Élysées as they play reproductions of the era’s instruments.

Photo: Pentatone/mat. Organizer

Celebrating Maestro Heriwig’s 75th birthday on May 2, he will open his Jubilee Musical Tour with a performance in Wroclaw. In addition to the conductor itself, the Orchester des Champs-Élysées will celebrate an important anniversary, which this year celebrates its thirtieth anniversary. Philip Herreweghe has been dealing with Baroque music for over forty years and is considered the undisputed authority among connoisseurs of Bach’s work. During his career, he was involved in revolutionizing the approach to early music – from bringing it out of theatrical non-existence in the 1970s to the development of fashion for historical instruments that continues to this day. Herreweghe, as he himself says, was always looking for a way to make Baroque music as simple as possible.

During the concert at the National Music Forum, the master will lead his unique Orchester des Champs-Élysées, performing each piece on copies of instruments from the era in which the composer lived. The mezzo-soprano part will be sung by prominent Czech artist Magdalena Kocina. The singer performs in the most important opera theaters around the world, including. At the Metropolitan Opera in New York, and for many years she was associated with a recording contract with the Deutsche Grammophon label. The tenor songs will be performed by the well-known English singer, Andrew Staples, among others at shows in Covent Garden.

Photo: Michelle Hendricks/Matt. Organizer

On the evening of May, in the main hall of the National Music Forum, the Song of the Earth will be heard – a masterpiece of the late romance of Gustav Mahler. “I play Song of the Earth a lot. It is incredibly beautiful,” wrote composer Anton Webern in a letter to fellow composer Alban Berg. Mahler himself considered the piece to be his most personal composition. Artists, scholars, and listeners also agree with this view, emphasizing the great power of expression Enchanted by the Austrian artist Mahler was inspired to write The Song of the Earth from a collection of poems called the Chinese Flute. It contained a German paraphrase of poems by ancient Chinese poets from the eighth and ninth centuries by Hans Bethg. The mood and existential themes dealt with it strongly influenced Mahler, who chose Seven pieces and he composed them is a completely unique work in the history of music, being a synthesis of two genres – a symphony and a circle of songs.

The origin of poetry in the Far East prompted the artist to use the pentatonic scale, which is associated with the music of this region and sounds alien to our ears. This music is colorful, but at the same time it is very minimally organized, while there are many moments when the solo sound is accompanied by individual instruments. The work consists of six parts: Toast to an earthly feast, Lonely in Autumn, About youth, About beauty, Drink in spring and Goodbye. The single, dynamic, and masterful parts are performed by tenor, while the equal, slow and melancholy parts are performed by mezzo-soprano. However, Earth Song is a special piece not only in terms of its form and organization. Above all, it is a very touching work that does not leave anyone indifferent. Thomas Mann was right when he wrote thirty years after its premiere: “Yesterday we stayed at a concert where Walter performed a song from the earth – a work which I believe grows while many others of the same period fade and die.”

May 8, 2022, Sunday at 18:00
NFM, Main Hall
Philip Herwig and the Orchester de Champs Elysees

Philip Herwig – conductor of the orchestra
Magdalena Kožená – Mezzo-soprano
Andrew Staples – Tenor
Orchester des Champs-Élysées

a program:
J Mahler Das Lied von der Erde
The 75th birthday of Philip Herwig and the 30th anniversary of the Orchester de Champs Elysees


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