According to old writings, Paradise was lost when Adam and Eve disobeyed God. Perhaps this is why humanity discovered that only by obeying the very few men in whose intelligence an igniter of divine fire survives, can we recover, at most briefly, a squirrel from that Garden of Eden.
We saved that place for an hour last Thursday night. David Afkham was the man who made it possible. He was faithful in spirit and literality to Johannes Brahms' score, exhaling a clear divine inspiration. If we talk about human obedience, to make up for the sin of the first couple, another real and more intimate couple, the National Choir and Orchestra of Spain formed, followed their director with success and complacency and brought us all to the Palace of Carlos V. It is a tiny bit of heaven. The dead don't die by themselves; they die so that all of us, even those who aren't yet dead, can make use of the good things in their souls to warn against transience and wish for eternal rest.
We knew that this would be one the most memorable nights of the 71st Festival from the opening pianissimo in Brahms' "Requiem". The orchestra was the main protagonist of those first festivals. They were dedicated and well mixed, especially with the expressive bass strings. Timpani are aware of their powerful martial and rousing functions. In a state that was full of grace, the choir remained focused on the task of not losing pitch in the midst of moments of rapid power or decaying when the German syllables nearly whisper the air. Katharina Konradi, and Peter Mattei were discreet soloists with well-set punctual interventions and very appropriate voices.
The manager. This is the sign of musicality, conviction. He knew that he was the director of a choir that was accompanied by an orchestra. Therefore, there was no baton. It was even better. It's better. This is not an attempt to be original about the text or a temptation hide the obvious kinship of this choir with Beethoven's ninth. Here is a song of joy and here it is a prayer for pain. Art is twinned in the confines.
Brahms carefully selected poems from the same books that contain Adam's first page for a night of poetry. Unfortunately, the German text was not translated into light by the architraves in the palace. Night as round and circular as the circular patio, which divides its diameter between artists/public in the same feeling, one sentence. Uncovered night in a cloister sans roof or panel with the huge black pupil of the skies looking at the prayer that asks only for peace: possible peace to the living and eternal peace to the dead.