Friday, 24 February 2017
7.30 p.m., Opening Concert at the
Anhaltisches Theater Dessau
Festival Opening Concert
Igor Stravinsky: Symphony in C
Kurt Weill: The Seven Deadly Sins
(Ballet chanté in nine scenes)
Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 5
in C minor, Op. 67
Conductor: Kristjan Järvi
Mezzo-soprano: Angelika Kirchschlager
Tenor: Falk Hoffmann Tenor: Albrecht Sack
Bass: Matthias Hoffmann Bass: Gun-Wook Lee
MDR Symphony Orchestra
A warm welcome to the 25th Kurt Weill Festival! Since 1993 the Festival and Dessau have developed into a leading location for the artistic period known as Classic Modernism. In 2017 our musical journey explores the most important forces that gave birth to our modern world, from Luther's reformed Christianity to the Enlightenment of the 18th century. The outstanding MDR Symphony Orchestra has provided the Festival with exceptional concerts over the years. Reflecting this long association, the ensemble will make a remarkable contribution to the theme of this year's Festival as our new Artist-in-Residence.
While Igor Stravinsky's archaic tonal language of the beginning of the 20th century pointed towards new musical worlds, the composer quickly returned to more classical elements. Thus, his Symphony in C unites Baroque and Classical principles with the harmonic invention of the new century. Weill held Stravinsky's work in high esteem, and indeed took inspiration from his music.
The ballet The Seven Deadly Sins was the final collaboration between Weill and Bertolt Brecht. This is a bittersweet tale of a small-town family who sends their daughter, Anna, to the city to make money. In highly contrasting scenes, the work shows the seven stations of the modern world's deadly sins, which Brecht found reflected in the "virtues" of the petty bourgeois. The internationally celebrated mezzo-soprano Angelika Kirchschlager heads an ensemble of singers gracing the stage at this Festival Opening Concert.
Ludwig van Beethoven's revolutionary 5th Symphony completes the programme. This work reflects Beethoven's belief in freedom, and develops from darkness to light following the motto "per aspera ad astra". A great start to our jubilee festival!
With kindly support of the
NORD/LB Landesbank für Sachsen-Anhalt
The Artist-in-Residence will be presented
by LOTTO Sachsen-Anhalt.