Johanna Malangré

Tom Wilmersdörffer

Lukas Kaschube

60 minutes

Chamber Symphony in C minor, op. 110a, by Dmitri D. Shostakovich (Arr. by Rudolf Barschai)
Serenade for string orchestra in C major, op. 48, by Pjotr. I. Tchaikovsky
Les Illuminations, op. 18, by Benjamin Britten


1 Soprano – Mirjam Mesak
1 Orchestra – HIDALGO Festival Orchestra
1 Concertmaster – Johanna Pichlmair


15.09.2019 – HIDALGO Festival 2019

Morbid music at the old slaughterhouse: the newly founded HIDALGO festival orchestra performs at Bahnwärter Thiel – with dark works by European grand masters of the 19. and 20th century: Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich and Britten. The award-winning conductor Johanna Malangré leads through an apocalyptic evening of songs and pieces for string orchestra.

Today we live in a world where everything is presented as smooth, straight and perfect through social media, advertising, design and Photoshop. But things get interesting where something has rough edges. Because that’s where life is real. This is what this program is about, which speaks of the whole range of human emotions and experiences – and of ourselves: how we are as human beings, sometimes so dark, so crazy and so grotesque.

The Chamber Symphony by Dmitri Shostakovich was originally written as a string quartet – at a very difficult time in the composer’s life. Shostakovich fell seriously ill and was forced to join the Socialist Party. It was a terrible suffering for him, he was on the verge of suicide and expressed exactly that in this music. Throughout the piece, which was not a commissioned work, the tone sequence d-flat-c-b, the initials of Dmitri Shostakovich, is used.

Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s string serenade is often described as light music, inspired by Mozart’s “Little Night Music”. But if you listen more closely, you realize that it is not only cheerful, but also has a tragic, dark side. This piece also contains a great deal of personal information about the composer Tchaikovsky, who had to hide his homosexuality all his life and pretended to be something he was not. Like Shostakovich, he was an inwardly torn man.

Benjamin Britten’s song cycle “Les Illuminations” is the centerpiece of the evening. Britten is an incredible specialist for colors and characters. He constantly conveys the feeling that there is an abyss hiding behind the surface. The work begins with the sentence “I am the only one who has the key to this wild parade.” This “parade sauvage” of our existence hovers over the entire program. Isn’t it precisely this untamed nature that defines life and our joy in it?

The three works are timeless. Music that gets under your skin.




The cast corresponds to the usual artistic level of HIDALGO and its artist collective. The artists may vary depending on availability.