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Fragments. Mahler at MAO

  • Event
  • 11 February 2024

from an idea by Erik Battaglia

On Sunday, February 11, the MAO Museum of Asian Art will present the musical event "Fragments", conceived by Erik Battaglia, featuring choreography by Vincenzo Di Federico and Lanxin Zheng. The event will take place in two sessions, from 12 to 1 p.m. and 5 to 6 p.m.

The museum's premises will resonate with live performances of excerpts from Gustav Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde (The Song of the Earth). This composition, comprising six movements for alto, tenor, and orchestra, brings to life selected Lieder from Hans Bethge's collection Die chinesische Flöte. The collection features texts by Chinese poets from the Tang era, such as Li Bai and Wang Wei, reinterpreted by Bethge from German and French versions.
Mahler'sThe Song of the Earth, particularly its concluding piece,Abschied, serves as a poignant farewell to life. Despite its dramatic tone, the farewell hints at the memory of a joyous and fulfilling life, carrying a promise of renewal and eternity.

This event, aligned with Chinese New Year celebrations, marks the second outcome of a collaboration initiated last year between MAO and the "Giuseppe Verdi" State Conservatory of Music in Turin. The collaboration began with Sonic Blossom, a participatory performance by Lee Mingwei in May 2023.
As part of the ongoing collaboration and the #MAOTempoPresente project, which aims to transform the museum into a dynamic space for exploring and understanding Asian cultures through multisensory experiences, Piatino has generously providedtwo pianos.Until June 2, these pianos, located in the Japan 1 and Islamic Countries of Asia galleries, will beavailable for Conservatory students to practice during the museum's opening hours.
The repertoire, ranging from Schubert to Ravel and including Schumann, Puccini, Mahler, Debussy, and others, highlights Western classical music connected to the Orientalism phenomenon. It offers an opportunity to contemplate Eurocentrism, perceptions of the other, and the stereotypes that have confined the East within an exotic, untamed, and fantastical image.

Through this initiative and upcoming projects, MAO embraces the concept of conscious Orientalism. By emphasizing the partial and subjective nature of the Orient concept, the Museum provides a platform for dissenting voices and alternative perspectives. This approach encourages new interpretations of cultural phenomena originating in Asia and influencing Europe and the world.

Fragments. Mahler at MAO
with the participation of:
Laura Capretti, mezzo-soprano
Emma Bruno, contralto

Pamela Pelaez, flute
Pier Nicolò La Rotonda, oboe
Viola Pregno, cello
Diletta Capua, harp
Lorenzo Abbona, tam tam

Admission included in the ticket to the permanent collections.

The event is organized in collaboration with "Giuseppe Verdi" State Conservatory of Music in Turin (Scuola di Musica da Camera di Francesca Gosio).

We thank for generous support Piatino Pianoforti.