(GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass.) – The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center will open its doors to the community for a free screening of the New York Philharmonic performing Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, Resurrection, led by Music Director Alan Gilbert, on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of 9/11. The “Concert for New York,” taped the previous night at a free concert in Avery Fisher Hall at New York’s Lincoln Center, is being produced by the New York City public TV program, Great Performances, and made available for broadcast by WMHT-TV, at 9 p.m. on Sunday, September 11, 2011 (doors open at 8:30 p.m.). The performance will feature soprano Dorothea Röschmann, mezzo-soprano Michelle DeYoung, and the New York Choral Artists.
“Mahler’s Second Symphony, Resurrection, powerfully and profoundly explores the range of emotions provoked by the memories of 9/11,” said Gilbert. “This great masterpiece has a very special place in the history and psyche of the New York Philharmonic, but its message of renewal and rebirth is universal. We offer it as a tribute to those lost ten years ago.”
Composed between 1888 and 1894, Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, Resurrection, is an all-encompassing work, complete with a triumphant final movement for voices and orchestra in the tradition of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. The idea for the finale of the Resurrection Symphony came to Mahler in a flash of inspiration while he was attending the memorial service of Hans von Bülow, his benefactor and predecessor as conductor of the Hamburg Philharmonic. The composer was just then struggling to find a text suitable to his lofty intentions. As he described it: “The mood in which I sat there and thought of the departed one was exactly that of the work which, at the time, occupied me constantly; at that moment the chorus near the organ intoned the Klopstock chorale, ‘Aufersteh’n! [Arise!]’ It struck me like a thunderbolt and everything stood clear and vivid before my soul.”
Mahler’s setting of the 18th-century German poet Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock’s ode builds in majesty and intensity, as the Resurrection is depicted in a paean of triumph. The Philharmonic gave the work’s U.S. premiere in December 1908, when the composer led the New York Symphony (which merged with the New York Philharmonic in 1928 to form today’s New York Philharmonic), and has now performed the work a total of 28 times.
Music Director Alan Gilbert, the Yoko Nagae Ceschina Chair, began his tenure at the New York Philharmonic in September 2009. The first native New Yorker to hold the post, he ushered in what the New York Times called “an adventurous new era” at the Philharmonic. In the 2010-11 season, Gilbert led the orchestra on two tours of European music capitals; two performances at Carnegie Hall, including the venue’s 120th Anniversary Concert, which was broadcast on Great Performances; and conducted the acclaimed staged presentation of Jana?ek’s The Cunning Little Vixen.
Born in Flensburg, Germany, soprano Dorothea Röschmann made her critically acclaimed debut at the 1995 Salzburg Festival as Susanna in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro. At the Metropolitan Opera she has sung the Mozartean roles of Susanna, Pamina (The Magic Flute), Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni), and Ilia (Idomeneo) with James Levine.
Mezzo-soprano Michelle DeYoung has performed with the New York, Los Angeles, and Vienna philharmonic orchestras; she has also appeared at many of the world’s finest opera houses, including the Metropolitan Opera, and has given numerous recitals worldwide. New York Choral Artists, a professional chorus founded and directed by Joseph Flummerfelt, has been heard with the New York Philharmonic in recent seasons performing repertoire ranging from Michael Tippett’s A Child of Our Time to Mozart’s Requiem.
Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center
14 Castle Street
Great Barrington, Mass.