The Mahler Marathon in Winchester

Winchester Travel Blog

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Soprano Amy Murray--Des Kanaben Wunderhorn

When my son, Drew, told me that the Shenandoah University's Conservatory Symphony would be playing a season devoted to the music of Gustav Mahler in 2010-2011 I was intrigued.  (Drew is a Music Education major at SU and plays violin in the symphony.) The series is to commemorate the 150th anniversay of Mahler's birth in 1860 and the 100th anniversary of his death in 1911. Many consider Mahler's music thick and impeneterable.  But, I've always had a spot for Mahler since encountering his music in the 1960s. Then, Mahler was considered a rebel and to enjoy him was to be part of a musical underground. Radio KPPC in Pasadena would break from its counterculture programming and play all his symphonies back to back in an annual "Mahlerthon" on the composer's birthday.

After Symphony No. 1
(In part, a challenge to mainstream classical stations.) Since that time I've heard Mahler played by professional orchestras from the Boston Symphony to the Concertgebouw. But, never all-Mahler in one season! Even classical summer music festivals don't do that! Shenandoah was underataking something radical even today. There are not many university orchestras that would attempt all these works. I think Music Director Jan Wagner is to be commended for his bold programming.

The first concert was on September 19. It was Mahler's song cycle for soprano and orchestra, Des Kanaben Wunderhorn, and the Symphony No. 1. The orchestra really did rise to the occasion.

This concert was followed by the Symphony No. 5 on November 7 and the Piano Quartet in A, Lieder und Gesänge, and Mahler's orchestration of Beethoven's Quartet in F Minor on November 21.

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Soprano Amy Murray--Des Kanaben Wu…
Soprano Amy Murray--Des Kanaben W…
After Symphony No. 1
After Symphony No. 1
Shenedoah Conservatory Symphony
Shenedoah Conservatory Symphony
Shenandoah Conservatory Symphony O…
Shenandoah Conservatory Symphony …
Concert program
Concert program
Lieder und Gesänge
Lieder und Gesänge
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