There are several very different opportunities to experience Mahler's Symphony No. 3 during NEC's Mahler Unleashed concerts. A "straight" performance of the complete symphony from November 2 is now available to listeners at InstantEncore. On November 29, as part of a "Mahler in Chinatown" concert, Tanya Kalmanovitch, Ted Reichman, and Anthony Coleman of the Contemporary Improvisation faculty interpret the popular song "Ill Be Seeing You," whose opening melody is derived from a motif in the Mahler symphony's final movement. Here's what Kalmanovitch has to say about this interpretation.
I’ll Be Seeing You
I’ll Be Seeing You is a popular song written by Sammy Fain with lyrics by Irving Kahal that was first published in 1938. Its lyrics invoke a series of nostalgic locations both specific and vague (“that small café, the park across the way”). During the Second World War, the song became an anthem sung across the vast distances introduced by war.
Musicologist Deryck Cook pointed out that the song borrows its opening theme from the final movement of Mahler’s Third Symphony (1896). But in Mahler’s symphony, the phrases are left hanging obliquely; a single note is stretched almost to the breaking point. In this performance, we play the ambiguous relationship between the symphony and the popular song. Mahler through a shattered 20th-century lens.