Living intentionally, seeking out what is good, beautiful, and true, requires energy and effort. These days I don’t feel like I have too much left to invest in attending social and cultural events. Curling up the couch with a good book or even just scrolling through facebook, when I am exhausted past the point of sleeping, are my default plans. Sometimes I need a little help breaking out of that rut.

This past weekend the Oregon Symphony performed The Symphony No. 3 in D minor by Gustav Mahler. Since my husband is a member of the orchestra one might think that I fill a seat regularly. One would think wrong. I only go a couple of times a year. Combine season finale with the performance of major work that I have never heard before=impetus to get off the couch in the active pursuit of beauty.

The evening didn’t disappoint. Mahler’s symphonies are massive. This one lasted over 90 minutes. It was the only piece on the program and was performed without intermission (note: do not drink coffee directly before the concert). It is a showpiece for everyone, but especially for the brass, calling for 8 horns, 4 trumpets, 4 trombones, and tuba. Joined on stage by above average complements in the other sections as well as vocal soloist and chorus. Both the length of the piece, and the huge forces required to pull it off mean that this piece is not performed with as great frequency as many major works.

Mahler Divided this work into  2 main and 6 subsections.

First Part: Pan Awakes. Summer Comes Marching In
Second Park:
What the Flowers in the Meadow Tell Me
What the Animals in the Forest Tell Me
What Humanity Tells Me
What the Angels Tell Me
What Love Tells Me

The anguish of man, heavenly joy, and the love of Christ are proclaimed in word and music. This is a piece that is well worth your time.

Listen on YouTube here.

Tag: Wednesdy Music

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