China Philharmonic Orchestra with Long Yu: The Song of the Earth – Music Event in Abu Dhabi
For its first-ever concert in the Arab World, the pride of the Chinese classical music scene, the China Philharmonic Orchestra, will be performing in the capital under the baton of star conductor Long Yu. Considered today not only one of the very best Asian orchestras, but also a major player in the international music scene, playing at prestigious festivals like the Salzburger Osterfestspiele or the Proms, the CPO has managed to bring its distinctive sound to a worldwide audience, shedding a new light on many of the most popular classical compositions and discovering new masterpieces. Tonight’s performance will be no exception. After the concerto for violoncello and orchestra from contemporary Chinese composer Qigang Chen, Reflet d’un temps disparu, with Chinese star cellist Jian Wang, the second part of the programme will be dedicated to Mahler’s symphonic song-cycle, Das Lied von der Erde. Reflecting both the theme of the TCA Abu Dhabi Classics Season and the very identity of the orchestra, Mahler’s Song of the Earth was inspired by the poetical translations of Chinese classical poetry the German writer Hans Bethge published in 1907.
Das Lied von der Erde, on which the Austrian composer Gustav Mahler worked in 1908 and 1909 epitomises the attempt to fusion poetry and music inside a new understanding of the Symphony, using a “compilation method” assembling various elements and forms. In fact, Mahler brought together in this musical piece very different techniques and genres, very different musical styles and text elements to create a work unified only by an overall poetic idea. Without any doubt, this idea is linked to Mahler’s farewell to life and to the inner contest his last compositions have with the beginning of his creation. But in the background of this main idea, another, inspired from Bethge, shouldn’t be overlooked: after years of colonial arrogance, the relation of the West, especially to Arab and Asian countries had changed in the beginning of the 20th Century. The cultures the European nations had initially looked down on were now for many artists and intellectuals the key to the necessary renewal of Europe; the dialogue with these cultures had become the essential key to the intended regeneration of Western thinking. Considering this context, the representation of Das Lied von der Erde by a Chinese orchestra gains another, fascinating dimension underlining the necessity, even today, to keep the vision of an always revitalised exchange between cultures and artistic genres alive.
Qigang Chen: Reflet d’un temps disparu for violoncello and orchestra
Jian Wang: Cello
Gustav Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde
Warren Mok, tenor
May 09, 2016 08:00 PM – 10:15 PM
Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi
TCA Abu Dhabi
Tel: +971 800555