Part of SA2 Saturday Evening 2
About This Performance
Dudamel’s fascinating and inspired survey of Schubert symphonies combined with orchestral songs by Mahler reaches its second installment.
Just two months after completing Symphony No. 2, the 18-year-old Schubert embarked on his Third, which exudes a cheerful spirit and concludes with a virtuoso tarantella. The following year, he completed his first symphony in a minor key, which begins with a slow introduction inspired by Haydn’s “Representation of Chaos” from The Creation, immediately followed by a main theme derived from Beethoven’s String Quartet Op. 18, No. 4. With this Symphony, which Schubert later subtitled “Tragic,” he achieved a more serious, less “entertaining,” mode of expression.
Aptly programmed on this concert is Mahler’s most tragic song cycle, Songs on the Death of Children. The words for the five songs are drawn from a set of 428 poems by Friedrich Rückert, who had suffered the loss of two children to scarlet fever. Mahler’s wife Alma was appalled that Gustav would choose such a subject, as the couple’s second child was born around that time. In a brutal twist of fate, four years later their daughter Maria would also succumb to scarlet fever.
As our soloist for these very expressive songs, we are honored to have great German baritone Matthias Goerne.
Schubert Symphonies/Mahler Songs was supported by an Edgerton Foundation grant.
Programs, artists, dates, prices and availability subject to change.