EXPRESSING THE UNIVERSE
GILLIAN WILLS talks to
conductor Muhai Tang
The Queensland Orchestra opened its 2008 Maestro Series [Saturday 23 February, Queensland Performing Arts Centre] with Mahler's blockbuster third symphony. The last performance in Australia of this colossal, epic work was ten years ago at the Brisbane Festival and was also conducted by Muhai Tang. It's one of the longest symphonies in the classical canon and even has an entry in the Guinness Book of Records. Scored for huge instrumental forces, two choirs and a mezzo-soprano soloist, in this instance Liane Keegan, it is a complex work to present.
The Queensland Orchestra
The conductor Muhai Tang has an affinity with Mahler. Just as Mahler suffered numerous tragedies, including the loss of several of his siblings that left him with a brooding preoccupation with death, Tang says that he has had his share of terrible pain as he lived through the terror and repression of the Cultural Revolution in China. He has seen people killed before his eyes and wanted to scream or cry out in horror but could not for his own safety.
Copyright © 28 February 2008
Gillian Wills, Brisbane, Australia