Sunday, March 25, 2018

Gustav Mahler - Symphony No. 2, "The Resurrection"

Image von der Wik
Classical music has a rich catalog for Easter, but not much specifically for Palm Sunday.  So we shall have to make due with what we have.  Fortunately, what we have is very good indeed.

Gustav Mahler was one of the great romantic era composers, perhaps the pinnacle of lyric orchestral music before the taste of the arts world began the long slide into today's atonal wasteland.  He originally wrote this symphony in four movements; he envisioned a fifth movement with a chorus, but could not find appropriate words for the score.  But when he attended the funeral of a friend, he was struck at the reading of the poem Die Auferstehung (The Resurrection).  The lyrics to his fifth movement then more or less wrote themselves.

The lyrics are entirely appropriate to the Easter story, alas, less so for Palm Sunday:

Rise again, yes, rise again, 
Will you My dust, After a brief rest! 
Immortal life! Immortal life 
Will He who called you, give you.
Very Easter-ish.  Ah, well.  As I said, we must make due with what we have for today's Feast Day.  But it is a marvelous piece.


libertyman said...

What a workout! A wonderful choice for today.

Mariss Jansons has quite the story himself and does a heartfelt job of conducting.

What incredible talent. This performance could have used some microphones for the chorus, but wow, just wow!

Thanks for doing this.

Borepatch said...

Libertyman, it wasn't as much fun doing this post as the one we did together.

libertyman said...

Yes, it was great to see the master at work and maybe the wine had something to do with it!

Borepatch said...

Libertyman, it sure was fun doing that post with you.