Lahav Shani conducts Strauss and Mahler — With Chen Reiss

Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra

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Chen Reiss — Soprano

Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra

Lahav Shani — Conductor

Program notes

Six years into their hugely successful partnership, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and principal conductor Lahav Shani come together with sublime soprano Chen Reiss in a selection of Lieder by Richard Strauss, and then move on to one of the most emotionally charged symphonies by Strauss's illustrious contemporary, Gustav Mahler. Possessing "one of the most perfect Strauss voices one could wish for" (Classical Source) and having already performed in one of Shani and the RPhO's recent highlights—another Mahler monument—Reiss is the ideal artist to show off the memorable melodies and aching lyricism of Strauss's best songs.

After Reiss's curtain call, Shani leads the RPhO in Mahler's Sixth Symphony. Mahler composed this masterpiece during a time of professional and personal success—but as if presaging the calamities that would soon befall him, including the death of his young daughter and health problems that would take his life at age 50, he filled it with as much anguish as can be found in any of his nine symphonies. Though the moniker of "Tragic" Symphony may not have come from the composer himself, it is a fitting description of a work in which "something resembling the inexorable strife of ‘all against all’ is translated into music," in the words of Mahler's friend Bruno Walter.

Photos: Lahav Shani © Marco Borggeve / Chen Reiss © Paul Marc Mitchell

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