Lili Boulanger D’un matin de printemps
Frank Martin Sechs Monologe aus Jedermann
Camille Saint-Saëns Symphony No.3 ‘Organ Symphony’ (with Iveta Apkalna, organ)
photo Matthias Goerne © Caroline de Bon
Antonio Pappano conducts the Concertgebouw Orchestra and shows his amazing versatility. He combines Lili Boulanger’s airy swan song and a dramatic song cycle by Frank Martin with Camille Saint-Saëns’ majestic Third Symphony. D’un matin de printemps is the last orchestral work Lili Boulanger wrote before she died in March 1918 at the age of twenty-four. Boulanger was aware that she would never again see the blossoms of spring. Yet far from tragic, this music is full of light, life, and hope. With Frank Martin, the acceptance of death only arrives at the end of his masterful song cycle; in it, the wealthy Jedermann (Everyman) is visited during a lavish banquet by Death. He suddenly discovers that there is no one and nothing he can rely on. However, by repenting and accepting his faith, he is ultimately redeemed.
Saint-Saëns realised he had reached the boundaries of his orchestral abilities in this work, known as the ‘Organ Symphony’, saying: ‘I gave everything to it I was able to give. What I have here accomplished, I will never achieve again.’ And although the organ, played here by Iveta Apkalna, is not continually heard, it provides an amazingly effective addition to the orchestral sound in the slow movement and finale.