Being paired with Mahler 1 this weekend (except for Friday's performance) is the only existing portion of the unfinished Mahler 10, the Adagio. Combined, the two pieces present a vision of Mahler that is diametrically opposed - the young, nature-loving Mahler of the 1880s and the Mahler of 1910-11, dying of a heart ailment (and possibly a broken heart).
Here's what you might not know about these two bookends to Mahler's career:
With the first weekend of The Mahler Project successfully under our belts and behind us, you probably think we're ready for a well-deserved break, right?
Not on your life.
As followers of the festival know, The Mahler Project is just getting started. In fact, after an amazing opening weekend featuring Mahler 4, "Songs of a Wayfarer" and a stirring Thomas Hampson rendition of Mahler's Rheinlegendchen for an encore on Sunday night, this week is even more jam-packed with Mahler-related goodness.
If you know your Mahler, you know that the composer's Symphony No. 4 is considered to be his most whimsical and lighthearted. The LA Times' Mark Swed notes, in his review of Friday's night's concert, that Gustavo and the orchestra brought the necessary light touch to the work.
Photo courtesy of the Los Angeles Times
Dudamel has begun his Mahler escapade light on his feet. It can’t remain like that, but it’s an appealing way to start out on an epic Romantic journey.
You can read Swed's entire review of the opening salvo of The Mahler Project here.
Who's ready for a Mahler marathon? This festival is just getting started!
It's no surprise that The Mahler Project is attracting attention from the local LA press - after all, it's a big undertaking and involves a solid three weeks of concerts here in town. We already linked to the LA Times' Mark Swed's article on Gustavo Dudamel and The Mahler Project - it featured an interview with our Music Director and was a thoughtful, serious piece that explored Gustavo's reasons for undertaking such a monumental task.
The LA Weekly, on the other hand, takes a slightly different approach today. Calling the festival "Mahlerpalooza," the alt-weekly's West Coast Sound blog offers up a guide advising the best way to take in nine concerts in 22 days. Here's a sample:
A few words that keep getting thrown around when discussing The Mahler Project: ambitious, monumental, massive.
But why? After all, orchestras have certainly presented Mahler cycles before – playing each of the composer’s nine symphonies in a short period. However, we think The Mahler Project is quite special. Let’s look at the numbers.
Nine symphonies. Two continents. Two orchestras. And one conductor.
That’s not even taking into account the (literally) 1,000 musicians that will crowd onto the stage of the Shrine Auditorium here in LA (and the Teatro Teresa Carreño in Caracas) to perform Mahler 8, the so-called “Symphony of a Thousand.” A thousand is a big number for one stage. And this doesn’t even begin to factor in the logistics of moving Gustavo Dudamel, the LA Phil and the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela 3,600 miles to Caracas, Venezuela to do it all over again.