Monday and Friday: 5:30pm-6pm
A group of music critics guide you through some of the the most interesting new releases to keep you in touch with the latest fine music recordings.
Critic: Dennis Wu
The Rundfunkchor Berlin, led by its chief conductor Gijs Leenaars and accompanied by wind players from the RundfunkSinfonieorchester Berlin, presents masses by Bruckner and Stravinsky. The mass is arguably the oldest genre in music history, full of traditions, but also an inexhaustible soil for originality and innovation. This mix of tradition and innovation makes the genre an ideal vehicle for Bruckner and Stravinsky, who were both masters at blending the old and new into a uniquely personal musical idiom. Bruckner’s Mass in E Minor and Stravinsky’s Mass share their unusual orchestrations of almost a cappella voices with a sparse, extraordinary wind accompaniment. While Bruckner was inspired by open air “country masses”, Stravinsky’s Mass is emblematic of his neo-classical style.
Critic: Dennis Wu
Hardly any other concert marks the city of Munich’s musical history as strikingly as the premiere of Gustav Mahler’s 8th symphony, the Symphony of a Thousand, which struck real waves of enthusiasm within the city’s cultural scene, and beyond. It marked a memorable triumph for the composer, whose works had regularly been performed in Munich since 1896. Mahler felt his art form was understood by the people of Munich.
Moreover, Gustav Mahler and the Münchner Philharmoniker share a very special connection. As a composer he sustainably linked the 19th century Austro-German tradition and the modernism of the early 20th century. The just discussed monumental world premiere of his Symphony No. 8 took place under his baton on 12 September 1910 in Munich with the present day Münchner Philharmoniker. His works have been a substantial part of the Münchner Philharmoniker’s core repertoire ever since and the orchestra has excelled on many occasions.
It therefore comes as no surprise that the Münchner Philharmoniker brought this very repertoire to performance on numerous occasions during their 2018/2019 125 years anniversary season, one of which marks this recording: a concert at the Philharmonie de Paris in February 2019.
In the symphony’s two highly contrasting parts in text as well as composition, Mahler brings the setting of the Latin 9th century Christian hymn for Pentecost “Veni, creator spiritus” in conjunction with the closing scene of Goethe’s “Faust II”: creating a syncretism of two different understandings of the world as it is, with the common theme of redemption through love.