Symphonie der Blasinstrumente
Pierre Boulez and the Vienna Philharmonic open this year’s OsterKlang Festival in the Musikverein in Vienna with Igor Stravinsky’s Symphony of Wind Instruments and Symphony of Psalms along with the Glagolitic Mass written at the same time by Léoš Janáček. Poems of jubilation, but also of anger, judgment and curses form the basis of the Symphony of Psalms; to this end, the composer drew on Old Testament psalms. Janáček, in contrast to Stravinsky, decided not to use Latin in his Glagolitic Mass because of its abstract nature, preferring instead to set the Old Church Slavonic text by the patron saint of Moravia, Cyril, to music. In the work, Janáček wanted to express “faith in the eternal life of the people”. Consequently his Glagolitic Mass is not an act of humble worship, but a song of praise filled with optimism about life.