Playing Mahler with the NYSAE

Manhattan Travel Blog

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Last month I got an invitation of the New York Symphonic Arts Ensemble (NYSAE) to join them for a concert. The NYSAE is an amateur orchestra, but at a high level and with lots of discipline. Just the way I like it.... ;) It is conducted by maestro Timothy Hutto.

After an initial rehearsal I was immediately very enthusiastic. NYSAE had a Mahler program. Those who know me well know that I had never been a big fan of Mahler, so that seemed to be a bad combination. Two works were programmed: 4 songs from the Des Knaben Wunderhorn and the 4th symphony. After several rehearsals and listening to recordings I miraculously became a huge fan of the music.

The participation was a real challenge since I had never played a Mahler symphony before. Although I played second bassoon, Mahler had still prescribed many very high notes. So I spent a lot of time practicing. Another challenge was making a deal with my other orchestra, Downtown Symphony, since the NYSAE concert conflicted with their concert.

Gustav Mahler
Downtown was very understanding. Thanks to the flexibility of my downtown colleague Jerry, who put a lot of effort in finding a replace bassoon, and the conductor I could indeed join NYSAE.

The concert was prepared well, see here some more details about the orchestra, conductor, and soloists. The concert went quite OK. The only pity was the number of people in the audience. The orchestra deserved more listening ears!

Those who should like to know how the 4th symphony sounds could follow the links below to youtube to a very nice concert of the Wiener Philharmoniker, conducted by Leonard Bernstein and the solo sung by Edith Mathis.
1st Movement2nd Movement3rd Movement4th Movement

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Gustav Mahler
Gustav Mahler
Manhattan
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