7. Symphony Concert

Christian Thielemann Conductor
Elīna Garanča Mezzosoprano
Ladies of the State Opera Chorus Dresden
Kinderchor der Sächsischen Staatsoper Dresden

    Gustav Mahler

    • Symphony No. 3 in d minor

    Dynamic material

    Mahler composed his Third Symphony in 1895/1896 beside Lake Atter in the Austrian resort of Salzkammergut. When Bruno Walter visited him there and gazed up at the Höllengebirge mountains, Mahler remarked: »It’s no longer necessary to look – I have already turned it all into music.« Indeed, the composer succeeded in creating a dynamic score that arises out of pure materiality and expands into myriad forms. Now Christian Thielemann will plumb the depths of Mahler’s Third, a true symphonic milestone.

    Expected running time incl. intermission: 100 min.

    Date of broadcast: 27 February 2018, from 8.05 p.m. live on MDR Kultur and MDR Klassik
    • 25.02.2018
      11:00 Uhr
    • 26.02.2018
      20:00 Uhr
    • 27.02.2018
      20:00 Uhr

    Christian Thielemann

    Principal Conductor

    The 2017 / 2018 season is Christian Thielemann’s sixth as Principal Conductor of the Staatskapelle Dresden. Following engagements at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, in Gelsenkirchen, Karlsruhe, Hanover and Dusseldorf, in 1988 he moved to Nuremberg to occupy the post of Generalmusikdirektor. In 1997 he returned to his hometown of Berlin to direct the Deutsche Oper until 2004, when he became Music Director of the Munich Philharmonic, a post he occupied until 2011. In addition to his current position in Dresden, Thielemann has been Artistic Director of the Salzburg Easter Festival since 2013, where the Staatskapelle is resident orchestra. 

    Christian Thielemann has contributed to the birthday celebrations for Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss with numerous Staatskapelle concerts in the Semperoper and on tour. His programmes have also featured a wide range of music from Bach to Henze, Rihm and Gubaidulina. He conducted new productions of »Manon Lescaut«, »Simon Boccanegra«, »Elektra« and »Der Freischütz« in Dresden as well as »Parsifal«, »Arabella«, »Cavalleria rusticana / Pagliacci«, »Otello« and »Die Walküre« in Salzburg. 

    Christian Thielemann maintains close ties to the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonic Orchestras. Following his debut at the Bayreuth Festival in 2000, he has returned every year to thrill audiences with benchmark interpretations. In 2010 he was appointed the festival’s Musical Advisor, and in June 2015 he became its Music Director. Much in demand as a versatile concert conductor, he has collaborated with the world’s leading orchestras in Amsterdam, London, New York, Chicago and Philadelphia, and has also performed in Israel, Japan and China. 

    As a UNITEL exclusive artist, Christian Thielemann has a comprehensive catalogue of recordings. His most recent ventures have been the recordings of Anton Bruckner’s symphonies nos. 4 and 6, the complete cycle of the symphonies and solo concertos of Johannes Brahms as well as the operas »Der Freischütz«, »Cavalleria rusticana / Pagliacci« and »Elektra« for CD or DVD. Alongside the New Year’s Eve Concerts of 2010 to 2013, he has already released many CDs and DVDs with the Staatskapelle featuring symphonic works by Beethoven, Liszt, Bruckner, Reger, Pfitzner and Busoni. He has recorded all of Beethoven’s symphonies with the Vienna Philharmonic. 

    Christian Thielemann is an honorary member of the Royal Academy of Music in London and holds honorary doctorates from the Franz Liszt College of Music in Weimar and the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. In May 2015 he was awarded the Richard Wagner prize by the Richard Wagner Society of the city of Leipzig, followed by the prize of the Semperoper Trust in October 2016.

    Elīna Garanča

    Elīna Garanča was born into a musical family in Riga and studied with her mother at the Latvian Academy of Music. She won the Mirjam Helin International Singing Competition in 1999 and was a finalist in the 2001 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition. After engagements in Meiningen and Frankfurt, she quickly established a reputation for herself as one of the foremost mezzo-sopranos of our day with appearances in leading opera houses and concert halls all over the world. 2005 she became an exclusive recording artist with Deutsche Grammophon.

    In May 2013 she was honoured by the Vienna State Opera with the title of Austrian Kammersängerin. Since her debut with the company as Lola in 2003, she has appeared in over 140 performances of eighteen different roles.

    In addition to her operatic engagements, Elīna Garanča appears regularly in leading concerts halls throughout Europe and America. In April 2013 she made her recital debut at Carnegie Hall in New York.

    Ladies of the State Opera Chorus Dresden

    Had it not been for Carl Maria von Weber, Dresden’s opera chorus would not have been founded, or at least not on October 8, 1817. It was Weber who obtained royal approval for this initiative; after all, it was his artistic mission (and personal ambition) to establish a German opera company alongside the tradition-steeped Italian opera. Besides suggesting other reforms for the staging of opera, he argued that it was now essential to have a regular choir. The choir started to participate in the traditional Palm Sunday concerts as early as 1827. Major landmarks in its history include the performances in 1846, 1847 and 1849 of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony under the later Kapellmeister Richard Wagner, who was forced to flee Dresden shortly after the last-mentioned performance.

    Currently comprising 89 singers, the Dresden State Opera Chorus has now become one of Europe’s finest opera choruses and has been acclaimed as such in virtually every premiere review in recent years. This preservation of tradition, coupled with a growing awareness of quality, is indebted to such artists as Joseph Metzner, Wilhelm Fischer, Karl Maria Pembaur, Ernst Hintze, Gerhart Wüstner, Franz Peter Müller-Sybel, Hans-Dieter Pflüger, Matthias Brauer and Pablo Assante, who have led the choir through difficult times to the present day. The Dresden State Opera Chorus is currently directed by Jörn Hinnerk Andresen, who since assuming his post in 2014 has maintained and developed such qualities as tonal coherence, refinement and reliably consistent precision.

    The State Opera Chorus of today has to a significant degree been shaped by its collaboration with the conductor Giuseppe Sinopoli, who died far too early and dedicated much time and effort to developing the choir’s artistic potential. Nowadays, the choir frequently demonstrates its qualities in operatic productions and concert performances. Radio, television and CD recordings bear further testimony to the immense prowess on account of which the State Opera Chorus is much sought after in many places besides Dresden: the choir receives invitations to perform at festivals, on tours and in concerts and has since 2013 worked together with the Staatskapelle Dresden at the Salzburg Easter Festival, which has been directed by Christian Thielemann ever since. October 8, 2017 marks the 200th anniversary of the founding of the Dresden State Opera Chorus.