“Music is the language of God.”
“Music can change the world.”
~ Ludwig van Beethoven
“Music is a moral law.
It gives a soul to the universe,
wings to the mind,
flight to the imagination,
a charm to sadness,
and life to everything.
It is the essence of order.”
”Music then is simply the result of
the effects of Love on rhythm and harmony.”
”Music is an agreeable harmony for the honor of God
and the permissible delights of the soul.”
”Harmony is next to Godliness”
~ Johann Sebastian Bach
“If only the whole world could feel the power of harmony.”
~ Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart “
Every element has a sound,
an original sound from the order of God;
all those sounds unite like the harmony from harps and zithers.”
~ Hildegard of Bingen
Ron’s Introduction to Gustav Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony No. 2
In prior memoirs chapters I have explained and demonstrated how open-hearted listening to mystical music, attuned to the eternal Light of timeless LOVE, elevates our earth-energies (beyond the fearful ego-mind) to impart deep wisdom, regardless of whether we self-identify as being religious or spiritual, or with a gender, ethnicity, or as any other separate entity label.
Also, as my recent Vernal Equinox Blessings posting explains, happiness in life comes to all those who lovingly live for the happiness of others, regardless of their supposed separate self-identity.
Today’s posting features embedded YouTube video passionate performances of one of the greatest symphonies of all time, Gustav Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony No. 2 composed between 1888-1894. These performances demonstrate how mystical music elevates us beyond earthly cares and fears, to experience the eternal Light of timeless LOVE.
1) A May 2011 BBC Proms performance of Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony No.2 at the Royal Albert Hall in London by world-renowned Venezuelan conductor Gustavo Dudamel leading the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra. [English translations of Mahler’s German lyrics are visually displayed for choral and solo vocal passages.]
2) A June 1995 performance of Mahler’s “Resurrection”Symphony No.2 at the Urakami Cathedral, Nagasaki, Japan, by the New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, plus 10 members of the Boston and Chicago Symphony Orchestras, in a “Concert for Peace” arranged and led by world-renowned Japanese conductor Seiji Ozawa.
[Only Japanese translations of Mahler’s German lyrics are visually displayed for choral and solo vocal passages. English translations are posted below.]
3) A May 1974 performance of Mahler’s “Resurrection”Symphony No.2 at the Edinburgh Festival by the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Leonard Bernstein with the Edinburgh Festival Chorus with soloists – soprano: Sheila Armstrong, mezzo-soprano: Janet Baker
4) A separate YouTube video of only the triumphant conclusion of the LSO Edinburgh Festival performance which includes visually displayed English translations of Mahler’s German lyrics for choral and solo vocal passages
Although Mahler’s music is timeless, its resurrection theme is relevant to the current pre-Easter 40 day period of Lent, to prepare for celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ at Easter.
And paradoxically the Nagasaki Cathedral venue for the 1995 Japanese performance can be regarded as the symbolic resurrection of a great industrial city with 263,000 people, which was totally destroyed by a US plutonium nuclear bomb on August 9th, 1945.
What is Lent?
Lent is a 40 day period of preparation to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ at Easter. It is a season of faithful prayer, fasting, and alms-giving intended to open the inner Sacred Heart.
In the New Testament, Jesus went into the desert to fast and pray for forty days and forty nights. It was during this time that Satan unsuccessfully tried to tempt him ( Matthew 4:1–3).
Also in the Old Testament, the prophet Moses went into the mountains for forty days and forty nights to pray and fast “without eating bread or drinking water” before receiving the Ten Commandments (Exodus 34:28). Likewise, the prophet Elijah went into the mountains for forty days and nights to fast and pray “until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God” when “the word of the Lord came to him” ( 1 Kings 19:8–9).
The forty day and night fasts of Moses, Elijah, and Jesus prepared them for their work. And those who observe the forty day Lent period honor that tradition.
Gustav Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony No. 2
Gustav Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony No. 2 is one of the most popular symphonies of all time. Composed between 1888-1894, it was Mahler’s first major work that established his lifelong view of the beauty of afterlife and resurrection.
A current 5 movement version of this symphony was produced and first performed at the Royal Albert Hall London in October 2005.
It featured the following (translated to English) choral and solo vocal lyrics originally written in German by Mahler himself:
O little red rose!
Man lies in greatest need!
Man lies in greatest pain!
How I would rather be in heaven.
There came I upon a broad path
when came a little angel and wanted to turn me away.
Ah no! I would not let myself be turned away!
I am from God and shall return to God!
The loving God will grant me a little light,
Which will light me into that eternal blissful life!
Rise again, yes, rise again,
Will you, my dust, after a brief rest!
Immortal life! Immortal life
Will he who called you, give you.
You are sown to bloom again!
The lord of the harvest goes
And gathers sheaves,
Us, who have died.
O believe, my heart, O believe:
Nothing is lost to you!
Yours, yes yours, is what you desired
Yours, what you have loved
What you have fought for!
You were not born for nothing!
Have not lived for nothing,
What was created
What perished, rise again!
Cease from trembling!
Prepare yourself to live!
O Pain, you piercer of all things,
From you, I have been wrested!
O Death, you conqueror of all things,
Now, are you conquered!
With wings which I have won for myself,
In love’s fierce striving,
I shall soar upwards
To the light which no eye has penetrated!
I shall die in order to live.
Rise again, yes, rise again,
Will you, my heart, in an instant!
That for which you suffered,
To God shall it carry you!
This posting of Gustav Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony No. 2 is deeply dedicated to elevating our earth-energies (beyond the fearful ego-mind) by imparting deep wisdom, regardless of whether we self-identify as being a religious or spiritual person, or with a gender, ethnicity, or as any other separate personality or entity label.
May this commemoration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ thereby inspire all of us to live lovingly for the happiness of others, regardless of our supposed separate self-identities.
And so may it be!
May 2011 BBC Proms performance of Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony No.2
June 1995 performance at the Urakami Cathedral, Nagasaki, Japan, of Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony No.2
May 1974 performance of Mahler’s “Resurrection”Symphony No.2 at the Edinburgh Festival
Conclusion of the LSO Edinburgh Festival performance with English translations of Mahler’s German lyrics