Angels of Sorrow: Spiritual Concert To Take Place This Thursday And Friday at Besední dům

A spiritually inspired program will take to the stage at Besední dům on Thursday and Friday, under the baton of Dennis Russell Davies, chief conductor of Filharmonie Brno. Photo credit: Filharmonie Brno

Brno, 24 May (BD) – “My angels of sorrow are with wings, more precisely they have always been and will be with wings,” said the Georgian composer Giya Kancheli about his composition. The work of this composer, who died three years ago, is based on an image of the destruction of war, when soldiers insulted the statues of angel wings. “On Thursday and Friday, we will have a concert which in the current situation is again painfully topical, as Kancheli is preceded by a penitent cantata based on Bach,” said Marie Kučerová, director of Filharmonie Brno. “When we had to cancel Kancheli’s composition due to the pandemic in October 2020, hardly anyone could have guessed that the move to this spring would make it even more urgent.” Kancheli’s wife Lula and son Sandro, as well as Georgian Ambassador Mariam Rakviashvili, will attend both evenings.

The dramaturge of Filharmonie Brno, Vítězslav Mikeš, discussed the composition by Kancheli, considered one of the key revolutionaries of European music of the 20th century: “It is reminiscent of a ceremony in which groups of homogeneous instruments pass on short prayer songs. The musical flow, internally divided into four moody sections, leads to the final chant.”

This is followed by Mozart’s Symphony No. 39 in E flat major. Mozart used the full staff of the period orchestra, including the newly incorporated clarinets to replace the oboes. “It is one of his last three symphonies, which, despite his misery, he composed without an order and a guarantee of public performance; he also never heard any of them,” said Mikeš.

The second half of the evening will begin with the aria “O Mensch bewen dein´ Sünde groß” (“Oh man, mourn your great guilt”), originally an organ choral overture by Johann Sebastian Bach, adapted in 1915 by the German composer Max Regner for string orchestra. “It goes into very distant tones, which underlines the repentant character,” Mikeš added.

Georgian composer Giya Kancheli. Photo credit: Filharmonie Brno

Kancheli’s work is presented systematically by Filharmonie Brno. The composer was a close friend of chief conductor Davies, who is a major promoter of his music. It is rooted in the traditions of European music and Georgian folklore. He works with silence and at a very slow pace as strong compositional components. The text of the song Angels of Sorrow consists of separate Georgian words and “Sumerian neologisms” invented by the composer, as well as English and Ukrainian lullabies, which together evoke the atmosphere of evening, end of day, transition from waking to sleep, and children’s night prayers. “I can’t remain indifferent to endless manifestations of callousness and violence, which is perhaps the reason why sadness and grief prevail in my music. Within my abilities, I tried to use the innocent voices of children and the simplest melodic structures to express my attitude to the power of the human spirit – an unshakable power that elevates the spirit above the immoral regime,” said Kancheli. Filharmonie Brno will be complemented by the Kantiléna choir with choirmaster Michal Jančík.

The concerts are dedicated to the 104th anniversary of Georgia’s independence, which falls on Thursday, 26 May, and are held under the auspices of Georgian Ambassador Mariam Rakvishvili, who will attend the concerts. The first Georgian Republic exhibition with a retrospective of unique photographs of this country and its events will decorate the foyer. The last few tickets are remaining for both concerts, and are available in advance or online on the website, or on the spot half an hour before the start depending on availability.

Brno Daily provides media support to Filharmonie Brno.

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