Georges Lentz
(c) Stanley Ciccone/Universal Edition

The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra played last weekend ‘Jerusalem (after Blake)’, a work by the Luxembourgish composer Georges Lentz. Lentz (*1965), who lives in Australia and in Berlin, composed this piece from 2011 to 2014 as part of his cycle  ‘Mysterium’ (« Caeli enarrant … » VII). It was commissioned by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Chief Conductor and Artistic Director, David Robertson, Philharmonie Luxembourg & Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg. It was premiered in Luxembourg in 2015. Robertson conducted it now in subscription concerts in St. Louis.

‘Jerusalem’ is written for large orchestra, electronic sounds, electric guitar, cimbalom and seven smartphones (in airplane mode).

The inspiration for this work was the poetry by William Blake (1757-1827) and its mystical-apocalyptic vision.

Before the performances, Robertson described the work as « an evocation of the human condition,” and he also explained, the conclusion was inspired by the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which vanished over the Indian Ocean three years ago. In the St. Louis Post-Dispatch critic Sarah Bryan Miller noted: « Thinking of the final calls made by victims of 9/11, Lentz used the cellphones to represent the messages these passengers could not leave. »

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