Andrea Lorenzo Scartazzini in Jena
Over several years the Swiss composer has complemented the Jena Philharmonic’s Mahler cycle with his own companion pieces. For each concert Scartazzini has written a symphonic movement, and with each Mahler performance these new movements join together to form a large-scale orchestral work. The beginning was Torso in October 2018. Like this, Epitaph also draws on a lyric text by Rainer Maria Rilke.
Andrea Lorenzo Scartazzini: “Epitaph begins with nothing, instead begins at the high point of the preceding piece Torso, so that the power which has built up over its long intensification is now fully unfolded with great boosts of energy.
Whilst the music of Torso grew slowly like a living organism and increasingly enveloped the entire orchestra, during the course of the second piece this process gradually turns round, the strength diminishes, and the music assumes more and more the character of a lament. Hence it approaches the expressive realm of Mahler’s 2nd ‘Resurrection’ Symphony, particularly its 1st movement, which Mahler himself described as a ‘funeral rite’. Epitaph is therefore a work about death. Finally it flows into an enigmatic sound space, in which the chorus haltingly recites three verses by Rilke, like an inscription on a gravestone. ‘For we are only the shell and the leaf. / The great death, which everyone has in himself, / that is the fruit around which everything revolves.’”