Program features DPO Chamber Orchestra and guest soprano in works by Strauss and Mahler
On Wednesday evening, May 21 at 6:30 pm and again on Thursday morning, May 22 at 10:00 am, guest soloist soprano Mary Elizabeth Southworth will join Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra Music Director Neal Gittleman for Romantics Reinvented, a concert of chamber works by Johann Strauss, Jr. and Gustav Mahler.
Soprano Mary Elizabeth Southworth guests, as Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra Music Director Neal Gittleman and the DPO Chamber Orchestra present a program showcasing music of two distinct Viennese musical cultures. Viennese composer Johann Strauss, Jr.’s Roses from the South waltz (arranged by Schoenberg) are a transformation of the Viennese waltz from dance hall to concert hall. Bohemian-born and Vienna-trained Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 (arranged by Stein), while the shortest of his symphonies and using a smaller orchestra, possesses a dated, classical style.
Both the Strauss and Mahler arrangements were done in 1921 for Schoenberg’s Society for Private Music Performance, which gave salon concerts in which chamber ensembles performed new music for a non-commercial audience, all of which were in chamber arrangements (because the full orchestrations wouldn’t fit in the salons). None of those arrangers changed anything, except they adapted the original music for the 15 (or so)-member ensemble. Schoenberg’s Roses from the South arrangement was not new music; it was a bon-bon, done for an SFPMP benefit concert.
Stein’s arrangement of the Mahler (done under Schoenberg’s supervision) is the same deal – except it wasn’t a bon-bon. It was genuine new music of the time. It is 100% faithful to Mahler’s original, except for the smaller orchestration. Mary Elizabeth Southworth sings the last movement of the Mahler symphony, a song from the Des Knaben Wunderhorn poem called Das himmlische Leben (The Heavenly Life) collection, depicting a child’s vision of heaven (heavy on food and drink, which makes some think that this is the companion piece to another Des Knaben Wunderhorn poem, Das irdische Leben (The Earthly Life) in which a child starves to death).
Therefore, both arrangements are the same music as the original works, reinvented for a chamber ensemble and done so quite brilliantly and beautifully.
Tickets $9.50 – $24
Free pre-concert refreshments include pizza appetizers provided by sponsor Boston’s Bistro at the Gypsy for the Wednesday, 6:30 pm performance and complimentary coffee and donuts provided by sponsors Boston Stoker and Mercy Siena Retirement Community and tea provided by Basically British for the Thursday, 10:00 am performance.
Dr. Charles and Patricia Demirjian are the Chamber Series sponsors.
For photographs of Neal Gittleman or any of the various series’ guest artists, go to: