as long as i remember, i always craved 'more than enough.' when there's a situation, i chew them over and over again, rotating, revisiting, until there is nothing left but a tangled mess of memories. if there's food craving, i am likely to eat it till i no longer can eat it- can't have just one fudgisicles, more like half-a-box over just two days. with work, i often work from 'old' scores, to see if i could make anything else easier. i run through numbers, recordings, notes, not with any particular intention, but just because i cannot help it.
recently the local orchestra's been in a hot water over a cancellation of a soloist. a soloist was contracted for a show. the hall was a near sell-out. however, meanwhile, russia invaded ukraine and things got messy. built-up political pressure made management to cancel the contract, the soloist went to war with it through social media. all the sudden, it was a hot news among the locals and classical music scene. heavy words such as nazis and censorship were hurled around like snow balls, carelessly made and freely thrown, as if it was all children's game.
of course, it was like a children's game. but unlike a game, angry words were hurled with viciousness, with intention to damage, hurt and embarrass.
they cancelled the concerto, the hall was half-empty and the musicians, all the sudden being blamed by many faceless, nameless parties, played mahler 5.
i went on the second night; i wasn't going to. it was too politically charged. it was too scandalous. it is a busy time of the year. blah blah. but i did. because the hall was half-emtpy, i heard.
musicians of the orchestra was not in charge of such decision. at the end, the orchestra did get a shed loads of not-so-free publicity. the soloist got the cheque and publicity. it made me wonder if there was a hope of marketing ploy. anyhow, the surest thing is that the musicians of the orchestra was left without audience.
i could've just bought a seat and not go to the concert. sleep sounded delicious. buying a ticket is a form of support. however,
nothing beats another bum on the seat.
so i had to go, after all. and i thought: hey, it's mahler 5. it's lovely.
and lovely things can break you.
hard, fast, brutal.
the apocalyptic, fate-laden trumpet opening. the grounding horn solos. rolling timp heart beats and cardiac arrests of grand pauses. wistful winds. nostalgic waltzes, dancing slowly to halt. feet that no longer bounces with joy on the floor. mad life rushing through, trampling things underfoot in the second mvt. then the call of the horn that is the dull brass blade, spiked on chest, in midst of ghostly golden viennese triplets. then
i am obsessed with this adagietto. the tears that started to fall onto the water. small rain drops, we've smelled them on hot earth from the scherzo.
i remember standing on the ground of lido, the graveyard of venice, on a sunny day. the trees with their leaves gently dancing whenever the occasional breeze went throughout hem. in contrast to the bustle of venice and murano, full of tourists and enthusiasm, lido was full of silence. lido probably still remember the silence of the pestilence days, annexed venice with slowly rising church of santa maria della salute, praying for the end of the plagues, people with losses in their hearts, death tolls rising.
ah, there, i saw pierrot. with empty hands.
he is calm. he is sad. he has lost something. it is not coming back. eternal loss. his eyes are full of acceptance- of sorrow. unspoken. as the life around him is bustling. continuing with zero regard for his loss. somewhere, mandolin plays. somewhere, the water of venice is marked with approaching gentle summer rain. passing through, not a storm, just hints of droplets. the same rain that came down when the red priest looked out.
years have passed since vivaldi died in vienna (1741). mahler dies in vienna (1911). mahler 5 sits in the middle of the symphonic cycle (considering no. 10 was not finished)(written 1901-02, mostly in summer holidays). in that 4th movement, adagietto, mahler bring down the tears post apocalypse. the big flood and tears of god, after all have drowned post-babel. alas, things lost. on the 5th movement, just like the olive branch that the dove brought back to noah, things are anew (only to be stomped down by marching feet of fate, 1st movement of the 6th symphony, stark, set in a minor, the dark, lightless void). and there, pierrot stands, in lido, looking sideways. with empty hands (watteau, 1717-18)
and gently, the harp weeps. tears rolling down.
ah. this mahler broke me. there i was, wiping face with dirty hands. red-nosed.
in wake of bright sunlight of first real sign of spring, i am listening to mahler 5 adagietto again. and again. i smell the wet earth i smelled in lido. in that afternoon, wandering through the graveyard, seeing pierrot, somewhere there. and then i realize, may be it was me, looking at myself, five years ago, losing my little brother, empty-handed, after i finally gave him away to the priest, so he can lower him under the ground. and so many other things I've lost and buried in my heart. each time, empty handed. raindrops in my mind as the light warms the day.
obsessively, i listen.
again and again.
everytime i look,
pierrot's hands are empty.
oh spring. loss eternal.
Wie ich dich liebe, Du meine Sonne,
ich kann mit Worten Dir's nicht sagen.
Nur meine Sehnsucht kann ich Dir klagen und meine Liebe
How much I love you you my sun,
I cannot tell you what with words.
I can only lament to you my longing and love.
(mauler's poem for alma, for adagietto)