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Live from Turin: Mahler and Schoenberg under the baton of Fabio Luisi

Monday, 30 January 2023 , ora 10.40

January 27th is a date with a special meaning: the International Day in memory of the victims of the Holocaust and during the season of the Italian National Radio Orchestra, in Turin, the concert that Radio România Muzical broadcasts live, has such a special message. In 2005, the General Assembly of the United Nations decided - after six decades had been marked since the entry of the Soviet army into the terrible death camp at Auschwitz (on this very day in the calendar of 1945) - that this date should be dedicated to memory the victims and not only the over one million who went through the largest concentration camp of the Nazi regime, but all those who went through the horrors of the Holocaust.

Under the baton of the conductor Fabio Luisi, the RAI Orchestra proposes at the "Arturo Toscanini" Auditorium in Turin a program with only two works, the second being the monumental 7th Symphony by Gustav Mahler, also known as the "Song of the Night" (subtitle which, it seems that the author did not confer it). A tumultuous orchestral track, with an impressive wealth of expressive suggestions cut out sometimes and by the interventions of instruments rarely found in the configuration of a symphonic ensemble. Begun when the composer was on the rise of his international recognition both as an author and as a conductor, while he was experiencing the emotions of the birth of his second daughter, the 7th Symphony waited until September 1908 to schedule the first audition, in Prague... In the meantime, Mahler had resigned from the management of the Vienna Opera, had lost his eldest daughter, had received a very worrying medical verdict, and biographers of the composer believe that the changes made to the initially bright score in many passages also reflect the total changes of context through which the Musician, the Man passed in that short period... Beyond all the musicological interpretations, the romanticism of this symphony of impressive proportions conquered generations of listeners crossing a remarkable musical dramaturgy, with tragic moments but also with the evocation of scenes from a pastoral landscape!

At the opening of the evening, an opus will be played, the title of which is an obvious reference to the special message of this program: "A survivor from Warsaw" - Cantata op. 46 written in the summer of 1947 by Arnold Schonberg, who left Europe due to the rise of the Nazis in 1933 and settled in the United States... An idea discussed together with a choreographer of Jewish origin who left Russia finally materialized in a cantata commissioned by Founded by Serge Koussevitzky and first performed in 1948 by the Albuquerque Civic Symphony Orchestra. The testimony of a survivor of the Warsaw ghetto inspired the composer in the creation of the text entrusted to the narrator (originally in English, with some exclamations in German, evoking the phrases of the aggressors and the male choir sings "Sh'ma Yisrael" at the end). In just a few minutes, Arnold Schoenberg's score outlines an image with a strong dramatic charge, the development of which finds in the author's compositional language a significant evocative force!

Friday January 27th, from 21:00, at the European Stage, sound contrasts in the vision of the conductor Fabio Luisi: live from Turin, with the RAI National Symphony Orchestra, the "Ruggero Maghini" Choir and Francesco Micheli - narrator.

Anca Ioana Andriescu
Translated by Medeea Alexandra Stan,
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year II
Corrected by Silvia Petrescu