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MAHLER Symphony No. 5: 4. Adagietto
Curtis Symphony Orchestra
Jahja Ling, conductor
Performed on Sunday, February 17, 2013
Verizon Hall, Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Philadelphia
The Jack Wolgin Orchestral Concert Series
Mahler’s compositional output throughout his life was relatively small, but his works were and remain among the largest and most demanding in the orchestral repertoire. In a famous comment to Jean Sibelius, Mahler remarked, "A symphony must be like the world. It must embrace everything." He certainly practiced what he preached, as his works span the spectrum of human emotion, often with abrupt changes of mood. The Symphony No. 5, completed in 1902, is intensely autobiographical, offering an intimate look at his views on love, life, and death.
4. Adagietto: Arguably Mahler’s most familiar music, the Adagietto was for many years performed on its own, at a time when conductors felt audiences might not embrace the huge scope of the Symphony No. 5 as a whole. Scored for strings and harp, it is a love letter to Alma Schindler, whom he met in 1901 and married in 1902. He included a small poem, roughly translated, “How much I love you, you my sun, I cannot tell you that with words. I can only lament to you my longing and love."