MUSICAL REFLECTIONS ON GRIEF, HORROR AND HOPE — “CITIES LAND (IN) OCEANS” FROM RUNDFUNK-SINFONIEORCHESTER BERLIN
My fascination with classical music has always been the stories, moods and emotions that a symphony or concerto can evoke. For me it’s about mysticism and dreams – the magic and the uncanny. On 22.04.2023, the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin invites you to an evening filled with precisely these qualities. Cities Land (in) Oceans is the latest in the Mensch, Musik! concert series that explores the big political, social and ecological questions of the day. Combining the talents of the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester, artist duo Tauchgold and Berlin creative institute Catalyst, this interdisciplinary stage performance centers on music conducted by Roderick Cox. The evening begins on a slightly romantic note with one of the great symphonies of all time: “La Mer” by Claude Debussy – a clever introduction, since the French composer is considered to be a link between romanticism and modernism. While Debussy’s sea of 1903 was still a place of (relative) innocence, mysticism and longing, today’s oceans are thoroughly explored, overfished and contaminated.
The evening also dedicates several pieces to the greatest atomic atrocity in human history: the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Works include Krzysztof Penderecki’s “Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima” from 1960 and Dai Fujikura’s “Akiko’s Piano”, performed as a solo by Yu Kosuge. It tells of young pianist Akiko who died in the blast but whose piano survives – damaged but playable – to this day. Accompanying and complementing the music are spoken pieces by actors Svenja Liesau and Vidina Popov. Besides human casualties, the loss of insects is also remembered in Christopher Cerrone’s “The Insects Became Magnetic”, a piece for orchestra and electronics. It is this suffering, destruction and grief that creative works articulate so well, a fact demonstrated quite explicitly during the concert’s combining of traditional, electronic and meditative elements. You have to listen – and feel – for yourself.
Text: Hilka Dirks / Photos: P Meisel, Eliad Wagner & Yu Kosuge
Haus des Rundfunks, Masurenallee 8–14, 14057 Berlin–Westend; map
Cities Land (in) Oceans (22.04.2023 19h30) – tickets are available online.