The Mahler Marathon in Winchester
Winchester Travel Blog› entry 72 of 107 › view all entries
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.
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.