“The term ‘symphony’—to me, this means creating a world with all the technical means available,” explained Mahler while writing his Symphony No. 3, a work he would complete at his 1896 summer retreat in Steinbach-am-Attersee. Enter the longest of Mahler’s symphonic “worlds” with principal conductor Lahav Shani leading his orchestra, the Rotterdam Philharmonic, as well as the Rotterdam Symphony Chorus and the Nieuw Amsterdams Kinderkoor in the brilliant Third Symphony! The musical evening climaxes when Violeta Urmana joins them for the symphony’s fourth and fifth movements.
A hymn to nature that is less a depiction of idyllic pastoralism and more a representation the transcendence of the material world. As the composer himself explained, the score traces “the steady intensification of feeling, from the indistinct, unbending, elemental existence (of the forces of nature) to the tender formation of the human heart, which in turn points toward and reaches a region beyond itself (God).” This evolution begins with the symphony’s sublime opening of eight horns playing in unison and winds its way through six movements to the final moment when unearthly beauty is freed of its terrestrial limits. A magnificent conclusion to the Rotterdam Philharmonic’s 2018-2019 season!
We would like to thank Concert Hall De Doelen for their partnership.
Photo: Lahav Shani © Guido Pijper