15 Jun A Norwegian Titan
Transformed for several days into a racing circuit for its Formula 1 Grand Prix, the Principality of Monaco has been returned to its music lovers. Along streets still lined with guardrails, passing in front of stands as tall as buildings, lovers of great music have found their way to the Auditorium, itself located on the circuit at the level of a famous tunnel.
There, they discovered a pilot of another kind – a conductor: the Norwegian Eivind Gullberg Jensen. They saw him make a highly competitive orchestra, the Monte‑Carlo Philharmonic, roar. They heard a breath-taking version of the First Symphony by Mahler. This oversized symphony is nicknamed “Titan”; not a reference to the giants of mythology but to the evil character in a novel by the German romantic writer Jean Paul. The result is the same: the symphony is monumental, and Eivind Gullberg Jensen gave a giant rendition of it. Making the orchestra sound so sumptuous, he was able to highlight the specific character of the myriad diverse passages of this work: from the delicate episodes at the beginning, evocative of nature, to the formidable fanfares at the end, where it is a question of man’s struggle against his destiny. This also passes through the funeral march of the third movement (on the theme of “Frère Jacques” in minor mode) or through the slow passage of the finale (a worthy predecessor of the Adagietto of the Fifth Symphony) or even by the popular dances which cheerfully arise everywhere in the work. Jensen highlighted all these passages in their diversity to high acclaim.