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He's more than a bunch of symphonies and songs. Even those are not what you think. And although the music stopped with his death in 1911—100 years later, his time is now. During four months of concerts, jam sessions, conversation, and film, free your mind about what Mahler really means.
Hugh Wolff, NEC's Stanford and Norma Jean Calderwood Director of Orchestras, kicks off NEC's Mahler Festival with the NEC Philharmonia. Featured work is Mahler's Symphony No. 1 in a reconstructed edition, based on two of the earliest manuscript sources for the symphony. The majority of the music heard will be a transcription of a newly discovered manuscript at the Mahler-Rosé Collection at the University of Western Ontario containing three movements of the originally five-movement symphony. This music is believed to be the earliest version of the First Symphony, premiered in Budapest in November 1889.
The two movements missing from the Ontario manuscript – the Blumine and the Funeral March – are performed from their own earliest manuscript source from the Osborne collection at Yale, reflecting the second, 1893 Hamburg performance of the symphony.
The performance of the First will include not only the Blumine movement that Mahler initially took over from another work and ultimately discarded, but also significant segments of music, notably in the Finale, that never made it into any subsequent versions. Originally called Symphonic Poem in Two Parts, the work features a smaller, less Mahlerian orchestra than in its later incarnations, and gives insight into the compositional process that transformed this piece into the Mahler First Symphony that we know today. This work, in Mahler’s words “the most spontaneous and daringly composed of all”, was subsequently heavily revised, yet due to the public’s rejection, remained as he observed his “child of sorrow”.
NEC's concert marks the American premiere of this earliest version of the Symphony, and the first time it has been heard in this form since its 1889 premiere. This performing edition has been prepared from microfilms of the manuscripts by Kristo Kondakci '09 Prep, '13 B.M., an NEC composition major studying with Michael Gandolfi and John Mallia.
The performance opens with Richard Strauss's tone poem Don Juan, which had its premiere the same year as the Mahler. This will be followed by a talk by Mahler scholar Dr. Katarina Markovic, Chair of NEC’s Music History and Musicology Department, who will illustrate some of the differences between the original version and the later and more familiar versions of Mahler’s First Symphony.
For further Mahler enrichment, come at 5:30 for Mahler authority Gilbert Kaplan's multimedia presentation Mahler's Legacy.
This concert is a free event based on any remaining seats following the 5:30 presentation "Mahler's Legacy." Audience members who attend "Mahler's Legacy" will receive "early admission" cards, and will be allowed to re-enter the hall at 6:45pm to enjoy the 7:30 concert, before any remaining seats are released. Available seats will be released beginning at 7:00pm.