Despair and Hope Zimmermann and Mahler


  • Robin De Raaff Orphic Descent
  • Bernd A. Zimmermann Stille und Umkehr
  • Karl Amadeus Hartmann Concerto funèbre
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Maurerische Trauermusik

In this alternative programme by Lawrence Renes and Simone Lamsma, the darkness of Hartmann and Zimmermann is surrounded by Orphic Descent from 2003 by Robin de Raaff ('genial notes', according to one reviewer) and Das himmlische Leben by Mahler.

Simone Lamsma plays Hartmann

Will Orpheus manage to find his beloved Euridike back in the underworld? Is it possible to have hope in a dark world? Simone Lamsma plays the beautiful Concerto funebre from 1939/1959 by Karl Amadeus Hartmann. Musik der Trauer was the original title: a mostly melancholic incantation of the Nazi era. The violin concerto ends with a sad chorale, based on a Russian song for the victims of the Russian revolution of 1905. Dmitri Shostakovich would later use it in his Eleventh Symphony.

Mahler's 'himmlische Leben

Richer instrumented than Hartmann, but paler in colour, is the equally small and penetrating Stille und Umkehr. It is one of the last works Bernd Alois Zimmermann wrote before he took his own life 50 years ago. Never will Mahler's Wunderhorn-song Das himmlische Leben (later used as the ending of his Fourth Symphony) have sounded more lovely and heavenly than at the end of this concert.

Saturday, 21 November 2020
The Royal Concertgebouw

Large Hall


Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
Go to the website
Lawrence Rene - Photo by Claudine Grin
Lawrence Renes
Simone Lamsma (c) Otto van den Toorn
Simone Lamsma

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