Featuring the largest complement of musicians to hit the stage with The Metropolitan Orchestra this year, Mahler’s enormous Fifth Symphony is a work of truly epic proportions. Led by Chief Conductor and Artistic Director Sarah-Grace Williams, this colossal work which opens with an expansive funeral march announced by a solo trumpet call, will take the audience on an epic and turbulent journey of contrast from the cheerful and optimistic, through stormy and beautifully soulful.
One of the most recorded symphonies of all time, the famous Adagietto (fourth movement) which is featured in Luchino Visconti’s 1971 movie, Death in Venice was also famously performed as a standalone piece by Leonard Bernstein at Robert Kennedy’s funeral in 1968. Herbert von Karajan once said that when you hear Mahler’s Fifth, “you forget that time has passed. A great performance of the Fifth is a transforming experience. The fantastic finale almost forces you to hold your breath.” Ending with what is often regarded as ‘the finale to end all finales’, the tragic themes from earlier movements are transferred into joy and vitality to reach a triumphant and grand conclusion to this magnificent work.