Helsinki 1952

Forty heartbeats for orchestra

1st audition - indefinite time      

Two beats for two daughters
Five beats for surrounding nature
Five beats for life surrounding us
Five beats for life force
Five beats for surrounding cities
Four beats for three friends
One beat for a good night's sleep with one beat in slow motion
Four beats for two times two sisters
Three beats for two instruments
One beat for life in us
First beat for being born
Three beats for three composers


Leipzig 1813 - Venice 1883

Wesendonck Lieder

(1857-1858) - 25 '
Texts by Mathilde Wesendonck, orchestration by Felix Mottl

Der Engel
Stehe still
Im Treibhaus

Anna Larsson, contralt


Hamburg 1809 - Leipzig 1847

Symphony no. 4 in La, op. 90, “Italian”

(1833) - 26 '

Allegro vivace
Andante con moto
Con moto moderato
Saltarello: Presto

Barcelona Symphony Orchestra
Kazushi Ono, conductor
Anna Larsson, contralt


FIRST VIOLINS  Vlad Stanculeasa, concertino / Maria José Aznar / Sarah Bels / Walter Ebenberger / Ana Galán / Katia Novell / Natalia Mediavilla / Jordi Salicrú  SECOND VIOLINS Alexandra Presaizen,  soloist / Jana Brauninger / Mireia Llorens / Melita Murgea / Josep Maria Plana / Antoni Peña VIOLAS Duccio Beluffi *, guest soloist / Josephine Fitzpatrick, assistant / Franck Heudiard / Michel Millet / Andreas Süssmayr CELLOS Jose Mor, soloist / Lourdes Duñó / Marc Galobardes / Jean Baptiste Texier DOUBLE BASSES Christoph Rahn, soloist / Albert Prat  FLUTES  Francisco López, soloist / Beatriz Cambrils  OBOES Dolors Chiralt, assistant / José Juan Pardo CLARINETS Josep Fuster, assistant / Francesc Navarro BASSOONS Silvia Coricelli,  soloist / Noah Cantú HORNS Juan Manuel Gómez, soloist / Joan Aragó / Juan Conrado García, assistant / David Bonet TRUMPETS Angel Serrano, assistant  / Raúl Calvo * TROMBONES Gaspar Montesinos TUBA Daniel Martinez * TIMPANI Victor Segura * PERCUSSION Juan Francisco Ruiz / Francisco José Amado * HARP Magdalena Barrera, soloist PIANO George Torrent *

Walter Ebenberger  
STAGE CREW Luis Hernández *

* Collaborator


by Joan Grimalt

The Forty heartbeats by the Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho dates from 1998. The work consists of 12 loose leaves, as a series of very short preludes that the director must order to his liking, and that he may or may not repeat, ad libitum. Each sheet has a title, and this is the order decided by our principal director: Two beats for two daughters, Five beats for the surrounding nature, Five more for the life around, A beat for being born, Three for three composers, to add the forty of the title. The ‘beats’ are represented musically, but in very varied ways, not always perceptible at a first audition. Saariaho shows, once again, that the music of our time has left behind the hermeticism of certain avant-garde of the last century. On the contrary, her work seems like a bet to recover the communication between the composer and the listeners.

Richard Wagner composed Wesendonck's songs while composing Tristan and Isolde. Mathilde Wesendonck, author of the poems, was the wife of a patron of Wagner. The five songs are usually performed together, and in the order of this first edition (1862), but are not considered any cycle, because they do not have a global narrative sense or thematic elements that link them together. The work, of course, can be heard as a compendium of topoi traditional musicals. A The angel, the reference to a 'pulsed string' - suggested with arpeggios typical of the lute or guitar - serves to place the piece in an intimate setting, as in one of the lyrical confessions so common in nineteenth-century poetry. Rest! musically it represents the passage from a stormy anxiety to the serenity of a hymn to nature, passing through the loving encounter, which is clothed in pastoral rhythms and sounds. In the greenhouse it presents the melancholy version of that pastoral world: one that, in classical literature, mourns an irretrievable past. In this shady dialogue with a plant transferred to a world that is not his, the song presents numerous descriptive details. A Dolores, a meditation on the value of suffering is embodied in style airy emblematic of Wagner from the earliest operas: between the recitative and the aria, serving the text above all else. The song culminates triumphantly. Finally, Dreams it links suffering and death with the evanescence of what we dream. To show this, since the instrumental introduction, the crying with which the 'laments' were traditionally represented is used here to music the word Träume ('dreams').

Felix Mendelssohn embarked on a two-and-a-half-year European tour (1829-1831). His parents thought it would be beneficial for his vital and artistic learning. He effectively took advantage of the trip to delve deeper into the study of classical architecture, art, and literature; he wrote letters at home in which he narrated his impressions, and also returned to Berlin with three works in his suitcase: the opening The Hebrides, conceived under the impression of an island in the west of Scotland, and two symphonies, called "Italian" and "Scottish". The "Italiana", which closes today's program, was commissioned by the Philharmonic Society. The composer himself directed its premiere in London in 1833. More than with intellectual aspects, Mendelssohn related the work to the experiences he lived in Italy in 'nature', this traditional myth that, in the nineteenth century, it acquires an almost religious significance.

The first movement begins with a reference to the gig, the dance with which baroque suites used to be closed, and later classical symphonies. From the very beginning, its overflowing energy leaves the listener breathless, even if he knows the piece. The secondary theme contrasts relatively little, but adds reference to a duet of woodwind instruments, as in an outdoor ‘serenade’. In the central section - the development -, one is added fled as of another era, in minor mode, which makes the dam brighter.

It seems that, for the second movement, Mendelssohn was inspired by a procession that took place in Naples. In contrast to the beginning, which seems to represent a collective walk of archaic aftertaste, the second theme turns to the world of individual affections, in the private sphere where so many poetic and musical manifestations usually take place, in romantic times.

In this same tone begins the third movement, as if transferring the minuet of ancient and aristocratic aftertaste to contemporary lyrical language. The tone is bright and friendly. The central section, the trio, contrasts two incongruous elements. A quartet of horns and bassoons utters calls that make you think of the world of the German romantic ‘forest’. The violins, now the flute, respond shamelessly, like a comedy character, full of sarcasm.

The finale is subtitled "Saltarello", a fast dance very close to the tarantella whose name indicates the way it was danced. It is common for a cyclical work like this to start in minor mode and end in major. Here, however, the opposite is the case: the work closes in the same minor mode as the second movement had announced.


Leipzig 1813 - Venice 1883

Wesendonck Lieder (1857-1858)
Texts by Mathilde Wesendonck

Fünf Gedichte

1. Der Engel

In der Kindheit frühen Tagen                            
Hört ich oft von Engeln sagen,
Die des Himmels hehre Wonne
Tauschen mit der Erdensonne,

Daß, wo bang ein Herz in Sorgen
Schmachtet vor der Welt verborgen,
Daß, wo still es will verbluten,
Undertaking in Tränenfluten,

Daß, wo brünstig sein Gebet
Einzig um Erlösung fleht,
Da der Engel niederschwebt,
Und es sanft gen Himmel hebt.

Ja, es stieg auch mir ein Engel nieder,
Und auf leuchtgendem Gefieder                       
Führt er, ferne jedem Schmerz,
Meinen Geist nun himmelwärts!

2. Stehe still!

Sausendes, brausendes Rad der Zeit,
Messer du der Ewigkeit;
Leuchtende Sphären im weiten All,
Die ihr umringt den Weltenball;
Urewige Schöpfung, halte doch ein,
Genug des Werdens, laß mich sein!

Halte an dich, zeugende Kraft,
Urgedanke, der ewig schafft!
There is the Atem, the still the Drang,
Schweigend nur eine Sekunde lang!
Schwellende Pulse, fesselt den Schlag;
Ende, des Wollens ewger Tag!

Daß in selig süßem Vergessen
Ich mög alle Wonne ermessen!

Wenn Auge in Auge wonnig trinken,
Seele ganz in Seele versinken;
Wesen in Wesen sich wiederfindet,
Und alles Hoffens Ende sich kündet,
Die Lippe verstummt in staunendem Schweigen,
You can find the following information:
Erkennt der Mensch des Ewgen Spur,
Und löst dein Rätsel, heilge Natur!

3. Im Treibhaus

Hochgewölbte Blätterkronen,
Baldachine von Smaragd,
Kinder ihr aus fernen Zonen,
Saget mir, warum ihr klagt?

Schweigend neiget ihr die Zweige,
Malet Zeichen in die Luft,
Und der Leiden stummer Zeuge
Steiget aufwärts, süßer Duft.

Weit in sehnendem Verlangen
Breitet ihr die Arme aus,
Und umschlinget wahnbefangen
Öder Leere nichtgen Graus.

Wohl, ich weiß es, arme Pflanze;
Ein Geschicke teilen wir,
Ob umstrahlt von Licht und Glanze,
Unsre Heimat ist nicht hier !,

Und wie froh die Sonne scheidet
Von des Tages leerem Schein,
Hüllet der, der wahrhaft leidet,
Sich in Schweigens Dunkel ein.

Stille wird's, ein säuselnd Weben
Weather forecast for dunumen Raum:
Schwere Tropfen seh ich schweben
An der Blätter grünem Saum.

4. Schmerzen

Sonne, weinest jeden Abend
Dir die schönen Augen rot,
Wenn im Meeresspiegel badend
Dich erreicht der frühe Tod!

Doch erstehst in alter Pracht,
Glorie der düstren Welt,
Du am Morgen neu erwacht,
Wie ein stolzer Siegesheld!

Ach, wie sollte ich da klagen,
Wie, mein Herz, so schwer dich sehn,
Muß die Sonne selbst verzagen,
How about Sonne untergehn?

Und gebieret Tod nur Leben,
Geben Schmerzen Wonne nur:
O wie dank ich, daß gegeben
Solche Schmerzen mir Natur!

5. Trauma

Sag, welch wunderbare Träume
Halten meinen Sinn umfangen,
Daß sie nicht wie leere Schäume
Sind in ödes Nichts vergangen?                         

Träume, die in jeder Stunde,                              
Jedem Tage schöner blühn,                               
Und mit ihrer Himmelskunde                            
Selig durchs Gemüte ziehn!                               

Träume, die wie hehre Strahlen                        
In die Seele sich versenken,                               
Dort ein ewig Bild zu malen:                              
Allvergessen, Eingedenken! Frühlingssonne       

Träume, wie wenn                                             
Aus dem Schnee die Blüten küßt,                      
Daß zu nie geahnter Wonne                              
Sie der neue Tag begrüßt,                                  

Daß sie wachsen, daß sie blühen,                      
Träumend spenden ihren Duft,                         
Sanft an deiner Brust verglühen,                       
Und dann sinken in die Gruft.


Leipzig 1813 - Venice 1883

Wesendonck Lieder (1857-1858)
Texts by Mathilde Wesendonck

Five poems

1. The angel

In the distant days of childhood
he often heard of angels
which changed the sublime heavenly delights
by the sun of the Earth,

where a restless and anguished heart
hidden tongue of the world,
and he wanted to bleed quietly
and perish in a sea of tears,

where his fervent prayer
he only asked for salvation,
and an angel came down and carried him away                                      
sweetly in heaven.

Yes, an angel came down for me too
that with its splendid wings                              
I was away from any pain,
and brought my spirit to heaven!

2. Stop!

Whispering and buzzing wheel of time,
measure of eternity;
luminous spheres of infinite breadth,
that you circle the ball of the world,
eternal creation, stop!
enough of it happening, let me be!

Stop, generating force,
primitive thoughts, eternally creative!
Hold your breath, calm the momentum,
shut up for just a second!
Excited pulse, chain your beats;
end, eternal day of the will!

That in a sweet and sacred oblivion
may you appreciate all the delights!

When the eyes drink delinquently in the eyes,
when the soul in the soul sinks completely;
when a being is reunited in a being
and the end of all hope is announced,
the lips are silent in marvelous silence,
and no other desire arises from within us:
then man recognizes the imprint of the Eternal,
and you lose your riddle, holy nature!

3. In the greenhouse

High crowns of leaves,
emerald canopies,
children of distant lands,
tell me, what are you complaining about?

Tilt the branches silently,
paint signs in the air,
and exhale a sweet aroma,
silent witness to the pain.

Towards a distant nostalgic longing
stretch out your arms,
and embrace full of excitement
the horrible nothingness of a barren emptiness.

Maybe, I know, poor plants,
we share a destination:
though haloed by light and splendor,
this is not our homeland!

And how the sun says goodbye happily
of the empty light of day,
who truly suffers
he sinks into the dark silence.

There is silence, a muttering agitation
restlessly fills the dark space:
I see heavy drops floating
on the green lintel of the leaves.

4. Penis

Sun, you cry every evening
your beautiful reddish eyes,
when bathing in the mirror of the sea
premature death is coming to you!

But you appear with the old splendor,
glory of the dark world,
when you wake up again in the morning
like a proud triumphant hero!

Alas, how could I then complain,
when, my heart, do I long for you so much?
The sun must be discouraged,
should it be put on?

And death only gives birth to life,
the pains only give delight:
Oh, how grateful nature is
have given me these sorrows!

5. Dreams

Say, what wonderful dreams
they have taken my feelings,
that, like an empty joke,
have they not faded into the wilderness nothing?

Dreams, that every hour and every day
bloom more beautiful,
and that with his heavenly announcement
they happily penetrate my spirit.

Dreams, that like sublime rays
they immerse themselves in the soul,
to paint there an eternal image:
all forgotten, all present!

Dreams, like when the spring sun
kiss the flowers on the snow,
and greets the new day
with crimes never foreseen,

that grow, that bloom,
who exhale dreaming of their perfume,
they go out sweetly on your chest,
and they sink into the grave

Translation: Manuel Capdevila i Font


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