Klaus Mäkelä conducts Mahler and Unsuk Chin

With The Cleveland Orchestra at Severance Music Center

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The Cleveland Orchestra

Klaus Mäkelä — Conductor

Program notes

Prepare to embark with the world-renowned Cleveland Orchestra on a journey through the wonders of life and the mysteries of the beyond… Under dynamo Klaus Mäkelä's baton, Mahler's Symphony No. 5 and Spira, a concerto for orchestra by South Korean contemporary composer Unsuk Chin, resound through Severance's storied walls.

Chin's composition is inspired by the spira mirabilis, the name Bernoulli gave to the logarithmic spiral that recurs on micro and macro scales throughout the universe, from neuron structures to seashells to cyclones and galaxies. The work has an otherworldly charm, suspended between reality and the ethereal dream world that Chin often seeks to evoke in her music: "the visions of immense light and of an incredible magnificence of colours that I see in all my dreams." The light of Chin's dreams soon gives way to the haunting funeral march (Trauermarsch) that begins Mahler's epic Symphony No. 5—a work written under a deathly specter as the composer recovered from a near-fatal intestinal hemorrhage. But Mahler's Fifth also contains some of the most tenderly lyrical moments of his entire oeuvre, especially the fourth-movement Adagietto that represents a love letter to his wife Alma.

Photo © Roger Mastroianni
Klaus Mäkelä appears courtesy of Decca Classics.

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