For the third time, Music Director Robin Ticciati has selected the format of a compact, fourday festival to approach a topic from various angles over the course of two weekends. The idea arose from reflections on the connection to society of one’s own actions, from grappling with the psychological strain that people are exposed to today through continuous communication and the momentum of modern systems.
What can classical music bring about in this context? Does it offer a refuge, relaxation and regeneration, perhaps even creative energy? As a general rule, music does not formulate conclusive answers; it tends instead to expand on various aspects of questions. It sets its own pace; it is a vis-à-vis to the everyday world, a place of longing and a connecting factor for religious, mythical, ideological or fantastic ideas. How have composers grappled with the unknown, how have they dealt with crises? What role do traditions play in this, tangible and living traditions, as well as those that are still a long way off?
The festival’s title has very deliberately been left in English. On the one hand, this is because the word “healing” has a much greater radius of significance than the German word “Heilung”. On the other, the National Socialists melted the latter term into their racial ideology without any ado with their nationalist interpretation of it. “Healing” includes overtones of what would be designated “Versöhnung” (reconciliation) or “Erlösung” (redemption) in German.
»The music at the end of ›Tristan and Isolde‹ is a music of rapture.«
The Festival Programme
The first concert on 17 March raises such questions. It touches on old myths and tales, with Harrison Birtwistle portraying the ancient god Pan as nightmare of the animals, John Dowland practicing the bittersweet experiencing of melancholy, Ernest Bloch having King Solomon speak to his people. Ultimately, it follows the magical instrument of Central Asian overtone singing to Stravinsky’s ‘Le sacre du printemps’.
The second programme on 18 March is kept in a contemplative, meditative state, a night concert at a later hour. Arvo Pärt and Pēteris Vasks were part of that quiet revolution that also changed musical consciousness in the West. The unity of art and faith is no less close in the contemporary John Tavener than it was centuries ago in Johann Sebastian Bach and Hildegard von Bingen.
The third programme on 25 March touches the border between life and the next world. The religious experience that leads out of this world conveyed itself to Olivier Messiaen as an event of light and sound. For Alexander Scriabin, who was close to theosophy for a while, it culminated in ecstasy. That Alban Berg concluded his violin concerto with variations on a Bach chorale also represents an attempt to find the transition into another world musically.
The last programme on 26 March places two narratives of transfiguration in contrast. Jonathan Harvey attempts in ‘… towards a Pure Land’ to create a likeness of the state that some call Nirvana, others Paradise or Elysium. And the music at the end of Richard Wagner’s ‘Tristan und Isolde’ is a music of rapture, quasi of the transformation of love into another, no longer hostile world. It does not refer to an end.
»What can classical music bring about? Does it offer a refuge, relaxation and regeneration, perhaps even creative energy?«
There are prominent soloists for the festival not only for Wagner, with soprano Dorothea Röschmann and tenor Michael Weinius as Tristan and Isolde, mezzo-soprano Claudia Mahnke and bass-baritones John Relyea and Shenyang. In addition, cellist Nicolas Altstaedt and violinists Veronika Eberle and Hugo Ticciati can be heard as soloists during the two weekends, as well as Gareth Lubbe and Choduraa Tumat with overtone singing.
Supporting Programme with Lectures
On the afternoon of both Saturdays, in cooperation with State Institute for Music Research (SIM), a supporting programme with lectures will accompany the festival thematically in the Curt-Sachs-Saal of the Musical Instrument Museum.
Prof. Dr. Stefan Willich (doctor, conductor, university lecturer, director of the Institute of Social Medicine, Epidemiology and Health Economy at the Charité), Prof. Dr. Mazda Adli (stress researcher, university lecturer, founder of the ‘Singing Shrinks’) and Dr. Andrea Korenjak (musicologist, psychologist and flutist, University of Vienna) will deal with the history of music therapy, the significance of music for mental health, and the thematic area of ‘Music, Medicine and Psychiatry’ on 18 March from 5 to 8 pm.
Employees of the Institute of Music Physiology and Musicians‘ Medicine in Hanover – Prof. Dr. Eckart Altenmüller (music physiologist, musicians’ doctor, flutist, institute director), Prof. Dr. med. André Lee (neurologist, musicians’ doctor) and Dr. Daniel S. Scholz (psychologist, psychotherapist, jazz musician) – will deal on 25 March from 4 to 7 pm with pain and fear when making music, as well as music-making as an art of interconnectedness from musicians’ perspective.
Admission is free; registration will take place with the Visitors’ Service.
The Festival as a Package
The four symphony concerts of the Festival are available as a Festival Package at a reduced price.
Festival-Paket: Prices for Series A, B, C, and D Series Subscribers
Subscribers to series A, B, C and D also receive their usual discount for the additional concerts in the Festival Package. One symphony concert of the Festival is already part of each of the subscription series A, B, C and D. Thus the Festival Package for subscribers to the above-mentioned series comprises only 3 concerts and is correspondingly cheaper:
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