Mahler’s epic symphony needs to be experienced live to be believed!
Gustav Mahler wanted his Second Symphony to exceed any known format – and he also wanted it to tackle the key questions of existence. “Why have you lived? Why have you suffered? Is everything just one enormous, terrible joke? We have to solve these questions in some way if we want to carry on living,” said the composer.
It is the largest symphony ever made in terms of forces, length and harmonic boldness. In the first movement Mahler wrestles with funereal thoughts — a true understanding of Mahler requires considerable submersion in fatalism. In the second, we glimpse Mahler’s enduring penchant for nature-painting, while the third offers a fine example of his characteristic proclivity toward the sardonic and macabre. In the fourth, we are presented with what is at heart a Lied, an art song, and its text is drawn from Des Knaben Wunderhorn, a poetic collection to which the composer returned repeatedly during his career. In the apocalyptic fifth movement, the chorus and soloists combine in a tremendous hymn on the theme of ‘resurrection’ – the rebirth of the individual into immortal triumph.
It’s an incredible journey, and one that is only truly experienced in a live performance, where you can feel the air shake. If you only know it from recordings, you haven’t really heard it at all – so join us as Daniele Rustioni, Ruby Hughes, Kai Rüütel, the Ulster Orchestra and Belfast Philharmonic conclude the 2019/20 Season by giving their all to some of the most visionary music that Mahler ever composed.
- Tickets £10 - £32