London Symphony Orchestra
Sir Simon Rattle, conductor
Adámek | Beethoven
Sir Simon Rattle and the London Symphony Orchestra embark on a quest for answers to mankind’s greatest questions with this composition by the Czech composer Ondřej Adámek. “Where are you?” the latter asks, in composing a search for God. This musical testimony is complemented by Beethoven’s “Pastorale”, which also provides answers to this question in its reference to nature.
Sir Simon Rattle and the London Symphony Orchestra address a fundamental question, perhaps the most important of all. Is there a God or are we alone in the universe? And if there is a God: Where is he? Czech composer Ondřej Adámek, making his Musikfest Berlin debut, asks that very question in his composition "Where are you?". Eleven orchestral songs recreate his quest. Mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kožená leads through storm and fire, to euphoric heights and to precipices, through the religions of the world, but at times simply into grotesque situations. A proximity to Gustav Mahler does not merely shine through in its humorously tempered despair. Similarities to Mahler’s “Lied von der Erde” can be found in “Where are you?”, which premiered in the pandemic spring of 2021, in its attempt to put into music and words the fundamental questions of human existence. Having been premiered on the radio and Live Stream, the cycle can be heard live in concert for the first time in Berlin – accompanied by a symphony that suggests that the salvation of the soul is not necessarily hidden in world religions or faraway places. Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Pastorale” is a declaration of love to local recreation. It celebrates going for walks, trees, forest, water and flowers, yet conveys a very similar insight to that of Ondřej Adámek'’s work: the key to finding answers to the important questions is often nearer than we think.
Ondřej Adámek (*1979)
Where are you? (2021)
for mezzo soprano and orchestra
Commissioned by musica viva of Bayerischer Rundfunk and the London Symphony Orchestra, funded by Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 – 1827)
Symphony No. 6 in F major op. 68