Monday, August 20 2018


Mahler masterpiece to debut

Update: July, 12/2012 - 10:19


Swedish songstress: Opera singers Anna Einarsson and Trinh Thanh Binh (top) will perform together for the first time at Ha Noi Opera House tonight. — File Photos

HA NOI — The classic masterpiece The Song of the Earth will debut with two vocal soloists Trinh Thanh Binh and Swedish Anna Einarsson performing tonight.

The Song of the Earth was composed by Austrian Gustav Mahler. It achieved a full fusion of song and symphony, a direction in which his musical life's work had been heading all along.

The composition of The Song of the Earth was begun in the summer of 1808 and is comprised of six movements. Mahler's piece is a symphony for a tenor and an alto (or Baritone) voice and orchestra.

Seven poems from a Chinese work of poetry entitled The Chinese Flute were selected by Mahler which he set to music.

The poems were written more than 1,000 years prior, during the Tang dynasty (618-907). The majority were by Li Bai (Li Tai Po), probably the most famous of all Chinese classical poets.

The piece is made up of six movements, one poem per movement with the exception of the Finale, which makes use of two poems.

It is said that Mahler avoided numbering the symphony (it would have been his 9th) due to a superstitious fear of the "curse of the 9th Symphony". Composers such as Beethoven, Bruckner and Dvorak had all died without being able to produce a 10th symphony.

The philosophical message of the work reflects Mahler's own views on life, death, and re-birth, said an assiduous Mahler researcher Michael Bosworth, based in Ha Noi.

"The natural cycle of the four seasons, the return of the life-giving sun on every new day – every sentient being is part and parcel of this endless process, both in life and in death," said Bosworth.

Mahler did not live long enough to hear the first performance of The Song of the Earth. The world premiere took place in Munich in 1911.

The Ha Noi debut takes place at Ha Noi Opera House featuring talented tenor Thanh Binh and mezzo-soprano Anna Einarsson.

Einarsson has performed with the Viet Nam National Symphony and Orchestra (VNSO) several times before. She graduated from the National College of Operatic Art in Oslo in 2001.

Einarsson is a very active as a concert singer, having appeared in concerts in Norway, Italy, the US, and Germany.

Einarsson will perform with Thanh Binh for the first time. Binh graduated from the Viet Nam National Academy of Music and has worked at the VNSO since 2004. He has performed in known operas such as Cosi Fan Tutte; La Boheme and The Little Sweep and as soloist in Symphony No9 by Beethoven; Through the Valley by German Pierre Oser and Carmen.

Under Tetsuji Honna's baton, the two-night concert will kick-off at 8pm at Ha Noi Opera House. For ticket information see page 24. — VNS

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