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Theodor Berger: Malinconia 2

  • for 48 strings
  • Duration: 18’
  • Instrumentation details:
    vln(22), vla(10), vc(10), cb(6)
  • Composer: Theodor Berger

Work introduction

Malinconia is one of the most beautiful works in the string orchestra literature. Distantly related to the Adagietto of Mahler’s Fifth Symphony, it has an endless, emotionally charged melody, unceasing (except for short interruptions) from the outset to the conclusion. Unlike the Mahler, it features a solo violin, sometimes painting arabesques against the ensemble’s dark background, then hovering above like a ray of light until an abrupt flash cuts off the sound. Then the melody continues, initially without the solo violin – but it returns to illuminate the dark sound, again like a ray of light, toward the end. A version for 48 strings appeared in 1949.

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