MAHLER'S FOURTH - A Wicked New Look
A concert and post-performance discussion by PostClassical Ensemble. Mahler 4 presages the emergence of jazz: the music riffs on itself throughout, replacing “classical” repetition of themes with constant variation. PCE will premier an exciting new chamber version. Tickets are $45.00.
Apr 20, 2022, 7:30 PM
The Kennedy Center's Terrace Theater, 2700 F St NW, Washington, DC 20566, USA
David Taylor, bass trombone
Madeleine Murnick, soprano
PostClassical Ensemble conducted by Angel Gil-Ordóñez
Produced by Joseph Horowitz
Gustav Mahler: Funeral March (from Symphony No. 1)
Arranged for chamber ensemble by Angel Gil-Ordóñez
Gustav Mahler: Wenn mein Schatz Hochzeit macht (from Songs of a Wayfarer) (1884-1885)
Arranged for bass trombone and chamber ensemble by Angel Gil-Ordóñez
Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 4 (1899-1900)
1. Bedachtig, nicht eilen
2. In gemachlicher Bewegung, ohne Hast
(recast by Joseph Horowitz and Angel Gil-Ordóñez as Mahlerei for bass trombone and chamber ensemble)
3. Ruhevoll, poco adagio
4. Sehr behaglich
Arranged for chamber ensemble by Klaus Simon (2007)
Post-Concert DiscussionMahler's Fourth: A Wicked New Look
Turn-of-the-century Vienna was the epicenter of an artistic explosion that was cosmopolitan and irreverent, mixing tradition with folk influences from across the Austro-Hungarian empire. It was here that Mahler penned his Fourth Symphony—not long after his fellow Bohemian Dvorak adapted African American and Indian influences for his New World Symphony.
In a sense, Mahler 4 presages the emergence of jazz: the music riffs on itself throughout, replacing “classical” repetition of themes with constant variation. It feeds upon folk and dance tunes and rollicks with inner conflicts and contradictions, expressing Mahler’s own struggles as an assimilated Jew in the Hapsburg capital that was both artistically liberating and anti-Semitic.
PostClassical Ensemble premieres a new chamber version that spotlights these influences center stage. The symphony’s whirling scherzo becomes a concertino for bass trombone—a wicked showcase for one of the world’s great instrumentalists, David Taylor. Mahler wanted this solo to sound odd, other-worldly, if not diabolical, directing the violin to tune up a whole tone and to play roguishly. This style is squarely in Taylor’s sweet spot and will be a performance unlike any other.