Olesya Petrova, mezzo-soprano, The Riga Dome Boys’ Choir, The Cēsis Art Festival’s female voice choir, Latvian National Symphony Orchestra;
Conductor: Andris Poga;
Video director: Dāvis Sīmanis;
Programme: Gustav Mahler, Symphony No. 3
You could describe it as grand, monumental or vast – and yet none of these epithets can cover the expanse of information contained inside Gustav Mahler’s Third Symphony. To grasp the scale of the composer’s thought, to understand his age – the beautiful Viennese decadence before the tragic explosion that was the First World War – and the artist’s yearning for love as the only warm and vitalizing force, born of loneliness – to get to grips with all of that we have to remember that music is a time-based art and follow the journey of the Third step by step, from the first bar to the final one, without skipping a page. Is is the road from the festivity of Bacchus and Pan, through stories of flowers and stories of beasts, and the Nietzschean reminder of joy that yearns for eternity, and the naive games of the angels, to the triumph of love in magnificent symphonic fireworks. That is how the composer saw the content of his symphony, and when it is all over – yes, then flames of love will flicker above the walls of the ancient Cēsis Castle, and one will go home feeling happy and complete.