For a concert titled “Music for the Heart”, we wanted to present music from one of the most romantic composers, Gustav Mahler. The breathtaking music of Mahler is the peak of what we call romantic music, and it is a special treat for us, because it is music that is almost never played by chamber orchestras. Each of our players will definitely shine through this concert.
The concert will open with his Adagietto from the 5th Symphony - the slow movement of that gigantic work, but originally Mahler wrote it as a love letter to his wife Alma. He gave her the score to this 10 min. work, scored for only strings and harp, and attached a note that said:
How much I love you, you my sun,
I cannot tell you that with words.
I can only lament to you my longing and love.
It is no doubt one of Mahler’s most frequently performed works.
After that the Children’s choir will join us for a selection of works with the orchestra.
In the 2nd half of the program, we will play Mahler’s 4th Symphony, and again, I can’t emphasis enough how rare it is for chamber orchestras to play a Mahler Symphony, so we are absolutely thrilled to bring this work to life here in State College.
This symphony is based on a song that Mahler wrote a few years before the symphony was written. The song actually became the last movement of the symphony. The song is about a child, walking in heaven, and giving us his impressions of what he sees there. In a way, I see this symphony as a cycle of life. It begins with a very child-like theme, representing youth. This movement was written almost as a homage to Mozart’s music. The 2nd movement is more devilish (maybe a representation of death) and something very special happens there - our concertmaster will play on another violin that is tuned higher than all the other violins, a representation of the devil’s fiddle. The 3rd movement is I think one of the most beautiful things Mahler ever wrote, a peaceful Adagio, with an incredible build up towards the end - at a climatic moment you can really hear the gates of heaven open up, a moment which then leads to the 4th movement, where the child walks into heaven and sings about his impressions.
It is truly a remarkable work, and it takes the listener through a magical journey. -- Yaniv