Opening Concert / Hamburg International Music Festival
»It’s simply wonderful here – balsam for body and soul alike!« Gustav Mahler once wrote from his legendary little house in Toblach in South Tyrol that he often used as a summer retreat to concentrate on composing. He loved the idyllic Alpine landscape, which inspired some of his best musical ideas. This principle actually applied to many composers, who took inspiration from rivers and the four seasons, from birdsong and the weather – or simply sought peace and tranquillity in forests and mountains where they could work undisturbed. »Nature« is the motto of the 6th Hamburg International Music Festival, where the major Hamburg-based orchestras and top-class guests once again bring the concert season to a close with a whole number of programme highlights.
The four-week festival aims not only to present a selection of the finest nature compositions in the repertoire, but also to click into the current public debates on climate and the environment, the prevalent issues of our time.
Good reason, then, to behold and listen to the beauty of nature around us. The festival’s opening concert with the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra under the baton of Alan Gilbert takes a look at the big picture with a performance of Haydn’s »The Creation«, one of the most impressive of all musical portrayals of nature.Obviously any selection of music about nature has to include Richard Strauss’s imposing »Alpine Symphony«, with which the Gewandhaus Orchestra makes the walls in the Elbphilharmonie Grand Hall shake.
Among the other festival highlights are a concert performance of Weber’s »Der Freischütz« with the Freiburger Barockorchester, and a complete Sibelius cycle.