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New York Philharmonic To Present A Special 9/11 Memorial Concert

  On the tenth anniversary of the fateful day when the destruction of the Twin Towers in Manhattan sent the world into a state of shock , the New York Philharmonic will offer a special memorial concert in its home Avery Fisher hall in Lincoln Center .  The sole work on the program will be Gustav Mahler's monumental  symphony no 2, called the "Resurrection" symphony , for a massive orchestra,chorus and soprano and alto soloists. 

  The Philharmonic's music director Alan Gilbert is the conductor , and he will lead the Philharmonic and a chorus, plus soloists Dorothea Roschmann  and Michelle De Young .

   The Mahler symphony consists of five movements , and the apocalyptic finale portrays the awesome judgement day . But the words by the 18th century German poet Friedrich Klopstock reveal that  God is far more benign than  the Bible suggests , and that all will utlimately enjoy eternal life .  The first movement is  a somber and  agitated, and is entitled "Totenfeier" or funeral rite in German.  The music is full of despair and anger at  merciless death .

   The second is a gentle intermezzo which hearks back to the happier days of life on earth , and the third is a sarcastic and  bitter movement based on the melody of one of Mahler's songs, called Saint Anthony of Padua Preaches to the Fishes " .  In the song, Saint Anthony goes to a crowd of fish in a lake, and they applaud his stirring sermon . Yet after it, they remain as venal, sinful and hypociritcal  as they were before . 

  The fourth is another song ,sung by the mezzo-soprano sooist, called "Urlicht ", or primeval light . It tells of a wandering soul who is turned away from heaven by an angel , yet who refuses to let the angel deter him .  The massive finale, which lasts more than a half hour and features offstage brass choirs , begins with a convulsive expolision from the orchestra - the judgement day has arrived !   The orchestra depicts the horrors of that awesome day woith shattering power . But when the chorus  begins to sing exultantly that death has not been in vain and that God has forgiven all ,  the work ends  in pure jubilation .

   There are few works in classical music which are as thrilling and inspiring . Don't  miss this telecast ,and you can also hear it live on New York's classical radio station WQXR . If you don't live in the New York area, you can hear it over the internet ; just go to  for information.


Posted: Sep 08 2011, 06:04 PM by the horn | with no comments
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