JAAP VAN ZWEDEN'S ODE TO JOY ①
- 20231221 Thursday 20:00
- LOTTE Concert Hall
Jaap van Zweden
Sunyoung Seo, Soprano
Songmi Yang , Mezzo-soprano
Kim Wookyung, Tenor
Jusung Gabriel Park, bass baritone
The National Chorus of Korea, Choir
Goyang Civic Choir, Choir
Donghoon Shin, Upon His Ghostly Solitude
- R 150,000 S 100,000 A 70,000 B 40,000 C 10,000
※ Please do not applaud between the movements.
Donghoon Shin(1983-), Upon His Ghostly Solitude(2023)
*Asian premiere, co-commissioned by Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, LA Philharmonic, Bamberg Symphony
My first encounter with W. B. Yeats' poem Nineteen Hundred and Nineteen was through Jorge Luis Borges' Theme of the Traitor and the Hero. In 2019, in London, during the pandemic turmoil, I once again encountered Yeats poem, this time in its entirety! While reading it, I was quite shocked that the crippled world and the despair and the terror depicted by Yeats in 1919, match perfectly with the world and the time we live in today. The title of my piece, Upon His Ghostly Solitude, is a quotation from the first section of the poem.
While reading the poem, interestingly, I found more and more resemblances with Alban Berg's Three Orchestral Pieces, written around the same time (1915). Like Yeats' poem, that score also tries to depict the terror and the despair in the crippled world through romantic, expressionist gestures. As a homage to Berg, and to Mahler, I composed waltz and march music for the second and the last movements. Their works have had such a big influence upon me that I have been longing for many years to compose in the two musical forms particularly favoured by those composers.
This piece is a love letter to Yeats and Berg, who suffered in the wounded world but tried to keep their voices and ideas intact even when everything 'falls apart, and the centre cannot hold'.
Text by Donghoon Shin
3[1.2.3+picc] 3[1.2.3+eh] 3[1.2+Ebcl.3bcl] 3[1.2.3+cfg] - 4 3 3 1 - tmp - per - pf[+cel] - hp - str.
per I : glokenspiel
per II : vibraphone, xylophone, crotales, triangle, snare drum, suspended cymbal, large gong
per III : tubular bells, susended cymbal, hand cymbals, snare drum, medium gong
per IV : large gong, bass drum
Ludwig van Beethoven(1770-1827), Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125 ‘Choral’(1824)
After 1812, when he completed his Eighth Symphony, Beethovens personal life was difficult in many ways, and he did not write much music as well. However, from 1820 the composer began to settle his personal affairs and prepare to write a series of later works such as Missa Solemnis and the Ninth Symphony. After completing the Missa Solemnis in 1822, which took a long time, composition of the Ninth progressed rapidly, with the first movement completed in early 1823 and the complete symphony finished in February 1824 the following year. The first performance took place in Vienna on May 7 of the same year, and Beethoven, who had almost completely lost his hearing, took on the role of nominal 'general conductor' on the premiere stage.
The process of realizing the unheard-of idea of adding vocal music to a symphony was slow and arduous. In fact, in a sense, Beethoven had been refining this idea for almost his entire life: Beethoven's first sketch of trying to turn Friedrich Schillers An die Freude (Ode to Joy, 1785) into a song dates back to his time in Bonn in 1792. Eventually, the Philharmonic Society of London commissioned two new symphonies in 1817, and a final agreement was reached in 1822, and the germination of long-cherished idea developed into a new shape.
Schiller's poem, which was meant to be the lyric for a song to encourage drinking, was transformed, in Beethoven's hands, into a hymn on a cosmic scale. However, just as Beethoven expressed that inner peace is not easily achievable in Agnus Dei from Missa Solemnis, a sister work to the Ninth Symphony, here too, the ideal world where "all people embrace each other" is not easily achieved.
The strange and dark sound that creeps in after the choir sings about the Creator, the Turkish military band-style music accompanied by the solo tenor, the trombone and low-pitched strings at the end that are completely unrelated to the lyrics, and the dark sound of the male chorus are perhaps the signs of Beethovens acute reflections. Although it is now a very familiar work, the 'Choral' symphony still constantly poses questions to the listener at this moment.
Text by Junhyung Lee / Translation SukHo Lee
3[1.2.pic] 2 2 3[1.2.cbn] ― 4 2 3 0 ― tmp+3 ― str
perc: bd, cym, tri