Utah Symphony to Present Gustav Mahler's TRAGIC, Led by Thierry Fischer, 11/20

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (Nov. 5, 2015) - Utah Symphony Music Director Thierry Fischer continues the orchestra's two-year Mahler Symphony Cycle with Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 6 "Tragic," on November 20 and 21 at 7:30 PM at Abravanel Hall. Also on the program is Haydn's Symphony No. 6 "Morning". Tickets, priced from $18 to $79, are available for purchase through www.utahsymphony.org or by calling (801) 355-2787.

The concert opens with Haydn's Symphony No.6 "Morning," his first symphonic work composed in the resplendent residence of the new Esterháza Palace and dating from the spring of 1761, not long after he joined the payroll of the Esterházy family.

Hayden's Symphony No. 6 was the first of three comprising the trio "Le matin," "Le midi," and "Le soir," which musicologist Jens Peter Larsen has described as being "on the borderline between a symphony and a concerto grosso."

The nickname for this symphony did not originate with Haydn. But as we listen to its gradual opening, it seems unmistakably to depict the dawn breaking in the eastern sky - a particular kind of tone-painting in which Haydn excelled, heard to great effect in his oratorio "The Creation."

Utah Symphony pays homage to Maurice Abravanel's legacy and vision during the75th Anniversary Season with the continuation of a two-year Mahler Symphony Cycle. The composer's first four symphonies were performed by the orchestra in the 2014-15 season.

Though we now know Gustav Mahler mainly as a symphonist, he gained distinction mainly as a conductor throughout his adult life. At the time he composed his sixth symphony in 1903 and 1904 (with extensive revisions in 1906), he had achieved eminence as a conductor.

In many respects, his sixth symphony is the most conventional and traditional of his symphonies; in it there is no text and no specific story line. Many listeners hear it as a depiction of the life and death of a prototypical hero, an interpretation that could explain why the name "Tragic" has stuck with it. But unlike classical tragedy, the symphony does not end with a climactic resolution of truth and emotional catharsis. It is, in fact, Mahler's only symphony that does not end in a final statement of positive transformation and triumph, a fact that prompted the British conductor Bruno Walter to call it "the first nihilist piece in the history of music."

The most controversial aspect of the symphony remains the placement of the scherzo as either the second or third movement. It seems likely that Mahler changed his mind more than once regarding their order, and musicologists cite conflicting evidence on which sequence should prevail, but the one performed at these Utah Symphony concerts - with the scherzo in third place - seems intuitively right.

The Utah Symphony extended commemoration of Abravanel's landmark Mahler tradition - under his baton, the Utah Symphony was the first American orchestra to record all of Mahler's symphonies - with the September 2015 release of a performance of Gustav Mahler's Symphony No.1, "Titan," recorded live in Abravanel Hall in the Fall of 2014.


Utah Symphony under the direction of Maestro Thierry Fischer will present Mahler's Symphony No. 6 on the Brigham Young University campus at the de Jong Concert Hall, Harris Fine Arts Center on Thursday, November 19 at 7:30 pm. http://arts.byu.edu/event/utah-symphony/

Utah Symphony | Utah Opera's education department has posted an online listening guide to the "Mahler Cycle" on the Utah Symphony website to provide people with information and insight into the composer and his famous symphonies. In advance of every Mahler symphony, an online listening guide by University of Utah School of Music's Dr. Bettie Jo Basinger filled with background materials and information movement by movement will be posted. Also included in the drop-down menu are audio clips and oral histories of former Utah Symphony musicians recalling Maestro Abravanel's work with the Mahler symphonies. http://www.utahsymphony.org/the-mahler-cycle

Utah Symphony Vice President of Artistic Planning Anthony Tolokan offers a preconcert lecture prior to each performance starting at 6:45 PM in the First Tier Room of Abravanel Hall. Lectures are free to all ticket holders.


Utah Symphony presents
Mahler's Symphony No. 6 "Tragic"

Abravanel Hall, 123 West South Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah
November 20-21, 2015 | 7:30 PM

Thierry Fischer, Conductor

HAYDN Symphony No. 6 "Morning"


MAHLER Symphony No. 6 "Tragic"

Season Sponsor: George S and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation
Mahler Cycle Sponsor: Kem & Carolyn Gardner
Conductor Sponsor: Martine

Tickets, priced from $18 to $79, are available for purchase through www.utahsymphony.org or by calling (801) 355-2787. Tickets increase $5 on the day of the performance.

About Utah Symphony

Founded in 1940, the Utah Symphony performs more than 175 concerts each season and offers all Utahns easy access to world class live musical performances of the world's greatest music in the state's top venues. Since being named the orchestra's seventh music director in 2009, Thierry Fischer has attracted leading musicians and top soloists, refreshed programming, drawn increased audiences, and galvanized community support. In addition to numerous regional and domestic tours, including the Mighty 5® Tour of Utah's National Parks, the Utah Symphony has embarked on seven international tours and will perform at Carnegie Hall in Spring 2016 coinciding with the orchestra's 75th anniversary celebrations. The Utah Symphony has released more than 100 recordings, including the new release of Mahler Symphony No. 1 in Fall 2015. Utah Symphony | Utah Opera, the orchestra's parent organization, reaches 450,000 residents in Utah and the Intermountain region, with educational outreach programs serving more than 155,000 students annually. In addition to performances in its home in Salt Lake City, Abravanel Hall, and concerts throughout the state of Utah, the Utah Symphony participates in Utah Opera's four annual productions at the Janet Quinney Lawson Capitol Theatre and presents the six-week Deer Valley® Music Festival each summer in Park City, Utah. With its many subscription, education, and outreach concerts and tours, the Utah Symphony is one of the most engaged orchestras in the nation. For more information visit www.utahsymphony.org.

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