Thoughts on Berg’s violin concerto
It is from my musical home that my love for this concerto stems. The language, the Austrian dialect, goes hand in hand with the articulation and colouring of this music. Mozart, Haydn – they are the founding fathers of this musical language. One doesn’t play a Berg violin concerto any differently to a Mozart concerto. It requires the same transparency, the same articulation.
This is not a violin concerto in the traditional sense, where the soloist stands in the foreground – rather it is a most intimate chamber musical dialogue between all the players.
However for me this piece is not simply an expression of my musical origins. To me it is like an unconscious promise, a vision which Berg left to us in the face of his nearing death.
It is a requiem for a girl who passed away at the age of nineteen – the first movement describes her carefree youth, her love of nature, her maturing into a young woman. The second movement is the portrayal of her deadly disease, the pain, the suffering, the loss of motor skills, up to the “cry for help” at the moment of her death. However the piece does not end here!
This work describes the journey of a soul here on earth, its transformation through death and its return home into the light.
Within the piece is contained the deep knowledge of the ultimate immortality of the soul.
And which better way to express something that is impossible to put into words, than by means of music, also known as the language of the angels…