When you think of Mahler’s Fifth Symphony, you think of the Adagietto – at least since the movement made an essential contribution to the morbid charm of Luchino Visconti’s “Death in Venice”, the Thomas Mann adaptation released in 1971. Besides Mahler’s world-famous music, conductor Andris Nelsons will offer an exciting discovery: HK Gruber’s trumpet concerto “Aerial”, which oscillates between yearning jazz and ironic dance music. The soloist is Håkan Hardenberger.
Aerial, Concerto for trumpet and orchestra
Håkan Hardenberger Trumpet
Symphony No. 5
HK Gruber writes about his trumpet concerto Aerial, premiered in 1999 in London: “The concerto offers two aerial views, firstly an imaginary landscape beneath the Northern Lights bearing an inscription from Emily Dickinson’s poem Wild Nights: ‘Done with the compass – Done with the chart!’ In part this refers to the pure invention that can be conjured up through the skills of a great trumpeter. [...] The second and larger of the two aerial views, entitled Gone Dancing, has a view as if from another planet – our world is empty of human life, but a lone sign bears the words ‘Gone Dancing’.” This subtle and virtuoso composition can be experienced in the Philharmonie with the interpreter of the premiere, Håkan Hardenberger – veritably a “great trumpeter”.
Andris Nelsons – a welcome guest of the orchestra on the conductor’s podium of the Berliner Philharmoniker since his highly acclaimed debut in 2010 – will place Gustav Mahler’s Fifth Symphony on the second half of the concert. Mahler complained that the composition, first performed in 1904 in Cologne, was a “cursed work” that “no one understands”. Today, the Fifth Symphony is among the most frequently played works by Mahler; we can be doubly excited to experience the Latvian conductor’s interpretation.