MAHLER Symphony No. 1
NEAL GITTLEMAN conductor, presenter
DAYTON PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA
Mahler’s first symphonic outing is a real world-beater. First performed in Budapest in 1889, it couldn’t help but reflect the tone of the changing cultural and political climate of the late 19th century. Musical thought was moving away from norms, and Mahler was stretching the system.
The first notes of the work are eerily familiar. You will recognize the Star Trek theme, but those four notes were actually borrowed from Brahms, who borrowed them from Beethoven! The movement establishes a hushed, suspended atmosphere that builds to an exuberant finish. The slow second movement exhibits grace and élan with its dancelike rhythm borrowed from the Austrian Ländler. The third movement is a wry funeral march that almost seems to bid farewell to the century. The fourth is an awesome explosion of dramatic contrasts, spectacular orchestration, and shifting moods that will leave you breathless.
The afternoon concludes with a casual Q&A in the Wintergarden of the Schuster Center, along with an Ice Cream Social with a free scoop of Graeter’s.
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