I recently lost a friend to a tragic accident. We lost conact over the years, but I used to think about how our lives might have been different if we had stayed close. Hearing about his passing was heartbreaking. He was such a kind, generous, funny guy and everyone loved him.
I’ve been trying to wrap my head around this for the past few days, and it just doesn’t make sense to me at all. The only thing that has given me any consolation is Mahler’s second symphony, the “Resurrection Symphony”. You can watch it here, conducted by Dudamel, with subtitles (the original text is in German).
The Santa Barbara Symphony performed this piece recently, and in order to prepare for the performance, I read several articles on recent performances, studied the text again, and even borrowed a friend’s score to take a closer look at some of my favorite sections. I really enjoyed this article in particular.
In the wake of so much senseless violence, I think we need a piece of music like this that has real power behind it. The power to bring peace and comfort, and maybe even meaning to life and death and what lies beyond our current comprehension of those realms of existence.
My favorite text from this symphony is below. I also recommend watching the video with Leonard Bernstein conducting (here is the final movement).
- O believe,
- You were not born for nothing!
- Have not for nothing, lived, suffered!
- What was created
- Must perish,
- What perished, rise again!
- Cease from trembling!
- Prepare yourself to live!