Nexus-conference Mahler the Questor Hero 14 May 2011 on youtube
Saturday 14 May 2011, in the hundredth year of death of Gustav Mahler, the NEXUS Institute devoted the twentiest Nexus-conference to Mahler's artistic heritage. This conference with the title 'The Questor Hero. Gustav Mahler's Ultimate Questions on Man, Art and God, was proceeded by a keynote-lecture expressed by the Hungarian conductor Iván Fischer.

Part 2 from the first version Symphony no 1 (Titan") is called 'Commedia humana' (*) and was also the theme for the introduction by Claudio Magris. 'Creator Spiritus' (*), the Latin text set to music in Part I of his Symphony No. 8, was the theme for the masterclass on Mahler's musical questions, conducted by Yoel Gamzou with the co-operation of members of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. The last theme, 'Faust of Percival?' in the end was discussed with George Klein, Adam Zagajewski, Slavoj Zizek and others.

To live is to ask questions, the great questions, and each era has its own culture, its own ideas about humanity and the world, expressing its attempt at an answer. Now that Mahler’s music wants us to be conscious of the great questions of life, how does our view of human existence differ from Mahler’s, and why? What is our answer to questions such as: why do we live? Why do we suffer? What do we strive for? How do we give our lives meaning? What knowing, what knowledge do we long for?

What do we see as the essence and the destination of our human existence?

NRC Handelsblad - The art-survey:

Elevenhundred visitors exchanged the bright weather for the theater and the dull claps of death out of Mahler's tenth symphony. During the roundtable conversation with touching contributions from Arnold Schönbergs daughter Nuria (as two drops of water - tangible history) and the keen Germanist Niekerk - there were even warm laughters. Opera stage-manager Katie Mitchell told about her visit to Mahlers Ninth by Haitink, the evening before.

"Thinking of the email from Riemen. What is the ethical and political load of this music?!? I did not find it, it is aestethic escapism."

Keynote speaker was conductor Iván Fischer, who posseses the rare gift to speak as expert in a clear, and scattering way on music. He joined the writer/Germanist, who researched the "Mitteleuropean" roots of Mahler.

What stayed abstract by Magris, became flesh and blood by Fischer: to man as Mahler - about 1900 Jewish or Roman but not in a professed way - were Art and Culture the real believe. They get one's theeth in it a generations before did cobcerning the Talmud. "The 'Mitzvah' (the good act out of religious duty) of Mahler was to propagate of culture." The same concerned for Fischer too!

(Mischa Spel - 16-05-2011)

The brochure
(*) Commedia humana is the second movement is a modified minuet and trio. Mahler replaces the minuet with a Ländler, a 3/4 dance-form that was a precursor to the Austrian waltz. This is a popular structure in Mahler’s other symphonies, as well as Franz Schubert’s.
One main theme repeats throughout the Ländler, and it gathers energy towards a hectic finish. The main melody outlines an A-major chord.

(*) Veni Creator Spiritus ("Come creator Spirit") is a hymn normally sung in Gregorian Chant. It is believed to have been written by Rabanus Maurus in the 9th century. The hymn is normally associated with the Roman Catholic Church, where it is performed during the liturgical celebration of the feast of Pentecost (at both Terce and Vespers).
It is also sung at occasions such as the entrance of Cardinals to the Sistine Chapel to elect a new pope, as well as the consecration of bishops, the ordination of priests, the confirmation of children, the dedication of churches, the celebration of synods or councils, the coronation of kings and other solemn events. The hymn is also widely used in the Anglican Church and appears, for example, in the Ordering of Priests and in the Consecration of Bishops in the Book of Common Prayer, 1662.


Come, Holy Ghost, Creator blest,

and in our hearts take up Thy rest;

come with Thy grace and heav'nly aid,

To fill the hearts which Thou hast made.

movement 2

Come creator Spirit