We are playing Mahler 2 in Northwest Indiana this week. I love this kind of work.
The Resurrection Symphony is not my favorite Mahler piece, but there’s just nothing else that feels like playing Mahler. His writing stretches both the individual musician and the ensemble to play louder, softer, more beautifully, more characterfully than any other composer. I could spend – did spend – hours looking at the part. Not because the notes are hard, but because he gives us so many markings and they all have meaning. Different shaped accents, slurs over slurs, an enormous range of dynamics, and many many tempo and character words in German – everything on the page is important and needs to be studied, translated, and considered as a way to communicate.
Music is never merely music for Mahler. Every movement has meaning, and every phrase, and every note. Trying to do justice to his markings and his intentions can be the work of a lifetime.
I love the challenge. The concert is Friday night at Bethel Church in Merrillville. Hope to see you there!