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Boston Philharmonic Orchestra - Schubert / Mahler

Symphony Hall

Symphony Hall, Boston, MA

Schubert Symphony No. 8 "Unfinished"
Mahler Das Lied von der Erde
Dame Sarah Connolly, mezzo
Stefan Vinke, tenor

Schubert’s “Unfinished” Symphony is among Mr. Zander’s very favorite works, but, surprisingly, he and the orchestra haven’t performed it since 2007. No one knows why Schubert failed to finish this symphonic torso of almost heavenly beauty (he lived for six more years after writing it), although speculation has been as endless as it is fruitless. Whatever the reason, there is no doubt that it has deservedly become one of the most beloved works in the classical canon, and, after the Beethoven Fifth, the one that everybody recognizes.

Das Lied von der Erde (The Song of the Earth), Mahler's supreme creation for voice and orchestra and one of his most beloved works, is a setting of six Chinese poems in German translation that reflect preoccupations that Mahler held throughout his life: the transitory nature of earthly things, the intoxication of love, the horrifying irony with which death mocks all human endeavor, and the ultimate need for everyone to surrender his attachments to this world and accept what is to come. Neither Mahler nor anyone else ever composed music of more poignant beauty than the "Abschied" (Farewell), the long final movement of this symphonic song cycle. The soloists, mezzo-soprano Dame Sarah Connolly and tenor Stefan Vinke, are among the world’s most celebrated performers of this work.

“The power of Sarah Connolly’s interpretation was rooted in her complete engagement with the words…her voice emanated a soft but penetrating radiance. The breadth in the contralto range and the tonal integrity across all registers make hers a truly exceptional instrument.” -Bachtrack
“I don’t think there’s another tenor in the world who can hit the levels Vinke does and make it sound so casual” -Bachtrack

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