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Herbert Blomstedt conducts Honegger and Brahms

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Konzerthalle Bamberg: Joseph Keilberth SaalMußstr. 1, Bamberg, Bavaria, 96047, Germany
2020 May 22, 23 at 20:00
Performers
Herbert BlomstedtConductor
Bamberg Symphony

In Dante’s “Divine Comedy”, we already read: “There is no greater sorrow than to recall happiness in times of misery.” Arthur Honegger used a range of stylistic devices from both earlier epochs and the present day in his works, which are often characterised by profound introspection. His third symphony in particular is a musical liturgical confession: “A drama played by three people – real or symbolic: misery, happiness and the human being.” The movements of this symphonic tragedy have titles reminiscent of a requiem. This moving work was composed in 1945/46 as a reflection upon the bitter events of the Second World War: “In its music I portrayed the battle taking place in the human heart between the renunciation of the blind powers that constrain it and the pursuit of happiness, the love of peace and refuge in God.”

Our honorary conductor will combine this musical drama with Brahms’s Fourth Symphony. Brahms always strove to create music that would stand the test of time and measure up to the greatest past masters. Written in 1884/85, his final symphony is largely melancholy in tone. While it was composed during several carefree months on holiday in Austria, Brahms compared it to the climate there, which meant that “the cherries are not sweet”. Perhaps it was this despondent view of the end of his life, free of all illusions, which irritated some of his friends at first. But this symphonic swansong is a true masterpiece: in it, Brahms takes his listeners on a wonderfully twisting and apparently never-ending journey of discovery – to the echoes of Johann Sebastian Bach in the final movement.

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