Mahler: Symphony #3 at the Berlin Philharmonic (by livestream, not travel)
On Saturday, February 29, 2020, the Berlin Philharmonic broadcast on Digital Concert Hall a live performance of Mahler’s Symphony #3 in D Minor, which runs about 100 minutes.
It was a good thing to see a European concert online when people are wary of the coronavirus. I didn't have to travel to see this. The cost was about $12.
Lorenzo Viotti (who is quite young) conducted, and the contralto in the fourth movement was Elina Garance. The concert was previewed with a QA of the contralto about singing Mahler in particular, which she said is very personal.
The work comprises two 'parts'. Part 1 is a huge Sonata form movement that runs 35 minutes. The opening theme is a paraphrase of the last movement of Brahms’s First and hovers between D Minor and the relative F Major. The Exposition is one of the longest in the literature. The movement ends in a whirlwind in the relative F, which would normally sound trite (like Chopin’s B-flat minor Scherzo). But here it emphasizes that Part 1 is an 'exposition' for the five movements in Part 2.
The next two movements are a minuet and a scherzo, and then the fourth movement is a typical song, slow. The fifth movement has a boys choir, and the last movement is a huge Adagio, one of the few symphonic adagios that ends loudly, with a D Major chord held for about 15 seconds. The recapitulates some material from the first movement.
The Wikipedia article gives the names of the movements as a program: Part 1 is the entrance of summer, and the last five movements have Mahler listening to Flowers in the Meadows, Animals in the Forest, Man, Angels, and Love.
When I was a soldier in Basic Training in 1968 at Fort Jackson and played organ at chapel on some Sunday morning services (I think it was after I got out of Special Training Company), I played the theme from the last movement by ear as a postlude.
I’ll share the sheet music, performance pf: Semyon Bychkov cond/ WDR Sinfonie-Orchester Koln, posted in 2016 by tomekkobialka.
I have a copy (CD) of Abbado on DG.
In 2001 (as I best recall) I heard the work performed by the Minnesota Orchestra in Minneapolis when I was living there.
During the leap year day performance replay, news of the first deaths in the United States from COVID19 (in a nursing home in Washington state) and news of the first positive tests in the District of Columbia That night, I went into town, to a DC libertarian party gathering and then to a bar, Nellie’s Sports Bar on U St. No one was worried yet. But I had already cancelled (at some loss) a pitchfest trip to Los Angeles Feb 19-24 out of fear of contact tracing and being stranded a long time away from being able to maintain my sites. That’s the only time I have ever done that. I did make a smaller car trip Feb 21-22 to Lexington VA and ate at the Red Hen, which had tossed out Sarah Huckabee Sanders. It was a disturbing and memorable time. I did work the 16 hour day for the Virginia Democratic primary on March 3, after everybody dropped out for Biden on March 2. The work is partisan in name only; we do our jobs to the letter with no personal discretion, and Virginia's laws are fairly liberal on accepting id's.
To impart a sense of what the nation faced almost immediately after the start of March 2020, read Michael Donnelly's Medium article "No Good Options" from March 11, 2020 (may require membership).(Originally Posted: Sunday, March 1, 2020 at 7 PM EST; Rewritten and posted Monday, August 22, 2022 by John W Boushka))