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Starts at 8:00 pm on Saturday, 10 November 2012
Direct from the Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington
There are just two works in this direct broadcast from Wellington’s Michael Fowler Centre, Bach’s Concerto in D minor for two violins with soloists Vesa Matti Leppänen and the Orchestra’s conductor Pietari Inkinen and Mahler’s Seventh Symphony.
When Mahler came to compose the Seventh Symphony he was living in a villa on the Wörthersee, and to reach it he sometimes had to be rowed across the lake. One of these homeward journeys proved to have momentous consequences. Two of the three middle movements, the two nocturnes (Nachtmusiken) had been composed at Maiernigg during the summer of 1904. It was not until,the next summer, however, that he completed the Seventh in an extraordinary eruption of creativity and it was the trip across the lake and specifically the rhythm of the oars, that – in Mahler’s own words in a letter to Alma – enabled him to overcome the block that had prevented him from finishing the work.
“I got into the boat to be rowed across. At the first stroke of the oars the theme (or rather the rhythm and character) of the introduction to the first movement came into my head – and in four weeks the first, third and fifth movements were done!”
Knowing what we do about the inception of the introduction – with the composer himself on the move across the lake – we can hear the opening movement in two senses, first as the outset of a journey, and secondly as a graphic document of a nocturnal though not exclusively natural world. There is a human being at the centre of all this, Mahler himself embarking and disembarking and then continuing his journey through the medium of his unique imagination.
This concert will be broadcast direct from Wellington’s Michael Fowler Centre by Radio New Zealand
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