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California Symphony Explores MAHLER'S INNER CIRCLE in March

Performances are March 25-26, 2023.

California Symphony Explores MAHLER'S INNER CIRCLE in March

California Symphony explores the incredibly gifted sphere of people surrounding Gustav Mahler in its Mahler's Inner Circle concerts, featuring contralto Sara Couden performing Alma Mahler's Fünf Lieder, the California Premiere of Hans Rott's Symphony No. 1, and Alexander Zemlinsky's Lustspiel Ouvertüre. This program continues the orchestra's adventurous 2022-23 season, celebrating its 10th season under Music Director Donato Cabrera, introducing works never before performed by the California Symphony, and featuring an all-women line-up of soloists. Says Cabrera of this program, "American audiences and musicians alike have become justifiably obsessed with the music of Gustav Mahler, particularly since Leonard Bernstein's landmark recordings with the New York Philharmonic in the 1960s. To provide greater context and a deeper understanding of Mahler's music, I'm excited to share these three compositions by people who were very close to him."

Alma Schindler was an accomplished composer who relinquished her work to marry Gustav Mahler, with the five songs in her Fünf Lieder being the only works published during her husband's lifetime. They will be performed by Walnut-Creek based Sara Couden, a premiere interpreter of operatic, chamber, and song repertoire who has appeared at major opera companies including the Metropolitan Opera and San Francisco Opera, as well as Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, and Seattle Symphony.

Hans Rott's Symphony No. 1 showcases music by an intriguing composer sometimes referred to as the greatest symphonist who never was. Rott was at the Vienna conservatory with Gustav Mahler in late 1870s, but their fortunes diverged soon after, and Rott died in an asylum at age 25. Rott's one and only completed symphony - receiving its California premiere here - bears many similarities to Mahler's works, and scholars are only now uncovering Rott's enormous influence on his celebrated friend.

The concert begins on a high note with Alexander Zemlinsky's charming Lustspiel Ouvertüre.The composer was a former tutor and suitor of Alma Schindler, said to have used the abrupt ending of that love affair as motivation to transform his talent into mastery. The lush melodies of this work echo those of Brahms, who was a supporter of the young Zemlinsky.



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