If There Is Much In The Window There Should Be More In The Room

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Silence that Follows the Music

The musical world had lost one of the greatest and most acclaimed conductors of our age: Claudio Abbado, the best lyrical interpreter of Mahler. This particular performance stands as everlasting testament to his great art, extraordinary musicianship and the unique qualities of his work.

As soon as Abbado lowered his baton his interpretation of the Second Symphony by Mahler became a legend.

An invisible thread runs between Claudio Abbado and the Second Symphony, "Resurrection" by Mahler. It is with this work that he made his debut with the London Symphony Orchestra and the Philharmonic Orchestra of Vienna in Salzburg at the age of thirty-two and it is this symphony he decides to conduct in August 2003 in Lucerne, with the new orchestra that he helped revive, the Lucerne Festival Orchestra. 

An Italian revived it, an Italian had founded it: Arturo Toscanini, who had founded the Lucerne Festival in 1938 to compete with Salzburg, had given this event an orchestra that was to play under the direction of the greatest conductors. After falling by the wayside in the nineties, the new Lucerne Festival Orchestra was reborn in August 2003 like the phoenix reborn from its ashes under the magic baton of Claudio Abbado. 

In the superb concert hall, designed by the architect Jean Nouvel, the stars of the most prestigious formations as well as the leading soloists perform. Among many others one may recognise: Emmanuel Pahud, Sabine Meyer, Renaud and Gautier Capuçon, Natalia Gutman, the Hagen Quartet and Marie-Pierre Langlamet. The simple fact of having succeeded in assembling all these stars is a miracle in itself, the aim is now to get them to play together… And that takes the talent, experience and magnetism of a Claudio Abbado to succeed. 

There was no reason for concern: as soon as the applause died down, the interpretation of the Second Symphony they performed as a single man, went down in legend. Fortunately, cameras and microphones were there to ressuscitate the "Ressurection". medici.tv

Claudio Abbado doesn't talk. No doubt because he expresses himself with music so intensely that words must seem inadequate to him. 

The Silence that follows the music…

Full-length video available at http://www.digitalconcerthall.com/en/concert/74

Website of the Berliner Philharmoniker:

The documentary "Claudio Abbado -- The silence that follows the music" from the year 1996 is as much a journey through the recent history of the Berliner Philharmoniker. Director Paul Smaczny shows how the orchestra re-adjusted itself after the end of the Karajan era -- such as in electing Abbado as chief conductor, whose friendly approach redefined communication and the artistic work of the orchestra. The phenomenon of the film’s title is the communal silence of an audience after a special performance when, as Abbado puts it, the whole acoustic changes.


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