Day 3. Auferstehung

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Auferstehung (1914) by Hermann Steiner.

Could painting express something in a way that music does? The answer is probably no. But this bleak and powerful representation of Resurrection might be the closest thing to Mahler’s second symphony, Auferstehung.

»Die Symphonie muss sein wie die Welt. Sie muss alles umfassen.«

To experience Mahler in a concert hall is so drastically different from Mahler on a CD. He is to be experienced, erlebt. The visual effect of the giant body of orchestra alone is violent, enchanting. The music so cosmic, that it’s almost physical, piercing through skins and bones and tearing time apart.

Col legno with wooden bows – the sound of bones clacking. Con sordino for violin and trompete – a thin layer of paper wrapping around fire. Percussions, double-bass, earthquake and storm. A Todesschrei stretching into the grey blue space of echoing silence. Horn playing from afar, voice of Jenseits. And why have you lived? Why have you suffered? Is everything nothing but a big terrible joke? (»Warum hast du erlebt? Warum hast du erlitten? Ist das alles nur ein großer, furchtbarer Spaß?«)

Mit Flügeln, die ich mir errungen…

Werde ich entschweben.

Sterben werd’ich, um zu leben!

Aufersteh’n, ja aufersteh’n wirst du,

Mein Herz, in einem Nu!

Was du geschlagen,

Zu Gott wird es dich tragen!

(Friedrich Klopstock)

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