HANS ABRAHAMSEN: Let me tell you (2012-2013) 32′
GUSTAV MAHLER: Symphony No. 4 in G major (1892-1900; rev. 1901-1910) 54'
In Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 4, the composer takes a new creative turn, using the orchestra’s rich timbres to convey a luminous, nostalgic, blissful vision of heaven, seen through the eyes of a child. The work reaches a climax in the last movement, with a lied on the theme of a popular poem from Des Knaben Wunderhorn (Youth’s Magic Horn) following a long, deeply tragic third movement. A symphony with an intimate sense of spirituality that was not understood in its day, it reveals the boundless imagination of a composer who left his hallmark on the history of symphonies.
The second commission given to Hans Abrahamsen by the Berlin Philharmonic was Let me tell you. A song cycle conspicuous for its polished precision and moments of great lyricism, it is inspired by the eponymous novel by Paul Griffiths featuring Hamlet’s Ophelia. A work with a theatrical mood, it has received high praise throughout the whole of Europe since its premiere.