The maestro is the symphony

A certain time ago, I wrote a dutch poem for the conductor Jaap van Zweden, and later on I dedicated that same poem to Yannick Nézèt-Sequin as for their lively emphatic interpretation and leading the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra. In gratitude they deserve. Last week I encountered another very inspiring conductor. One who was able to “translate” the majestous close-to-death Symphony 2 from Gustav Mahler and bring it to the vivid hearts of young musicians (from 13 to 21 years old). The way in which Benjamin Zander speaks of and to his Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra was heartily and overwhelming. And this combined with his passion for Mahler (just watch and see this video!!) -which I share with him- was my trigger to make a translation of my original poem, in a way rewriting it.

(voor de vertaling in Nederlands, klik hier)

This one is for Benjamin Zander and the BPYO!


Phenomenal the orchestra paints

the wholeness of the broken

-in the palm of her hands the golden

sounds she intensely shapes.

Brilliant she strews them in the air

catch the notes to watch and see

the marble echo lustrous  flames

as masters sketch the key,

the maestro is the symphony.

Pure tones reflect in space and ranks

they crawl in niches, swirl round and round

ground like a Van Gogh on the canvas of the ear

with little fear they move and settle down

Infinite shimmering. The written heart

receives his blood from skilled hand


Resounding love finds recognition

-shiny flirts from lacquered wood

and sparkling horns.

Marvelled one meets harmony

where the world in tunes

the master unfolds


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