M. Ravera, “Arte, terrore, apocalisse”

Arte, terrore, apocalisse. Un esempio musicale
Marco Ravera (Università di Torino)

In the art of sound, the Second Symphony by Gustav Mahler can be considered as a remarkable example of the relationship between art and terror, precisely in the direction indicated by Félix Duque. In it, Apocalypse is celebrated as always already happened and therefore as narrated, and not as something present; so that the terror of the event is condensed in its entirety in the account of it, which is developed between premonition (first movement) and overcoming (angelical chant and final chorus), whereas the place of transition (the central movements) is not dramatic at all, and is structured as a subtle game of play, irony, reminiscence, and estrangement. Besides, it is typical of Mahler’s art to represent totality as fragmented and disgregated; therefore Apocalypse and apocatastasis, which should constitute the reconciled totality, cannot be given but in the detachment represented by the renunciation of its perfect representation – detachment and renunciation that exclude any «conclusion» other from the childish peace of the Urlicht.

Symphony, Resurrection, Incompleteness, Irony, Estrange.

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