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Unique and Moving

Mahler's Fifth Symphony -
a self-metamorphosis from grief to ecstatic energy,
by GIUSEPPE PENNISI

 

As already reported in M&V, this year Rome has a symphonic blessing: two different symphony orchestras -- the centennial Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia (heavily supported by the Government as well as by local authorities) and the young and fully private (and not subsidized) Orchestra Sinfonica di Roma -- compete in offering all Mahler's symphonic music (and several other instrumental and vocal works by the Bohemian composer) to celebrate the composer's hundred and fiftieth birthday and the hundredth anniversary of his death. I will try to review most of these offerings but not all -- it will be a Gargantuan tasks and distract me from other musically interesting events -- especially the opera seasons just about to start in several Italian towns.

On 14 November 2010, with nearly 2,800 people (the full capacity of the hall), I was in the huge Santa Cecilia auditorium to listen to Mahler's Fifth Symphony conducted by Valery Gergiev in a matinée performance.

Most of Mahler's symphonies are structured in five parts (usually with the scherzo at the center). The Fifth was programmed as a regular 'classical' four movement symphony, without the human voice because, to quote the author, 'there is nothing romantic or mystical about it .....

Copyright © 18 November 2010 Giuseppe Pennisi,
Rome, Italy

-------

GUSTAV MAHLER

ROME

ITALY

ACCADEMIA NAZIONALE DI SANTA CECILIA

VALERY GERGIEV

ORCHESTRAL MUSIC

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