Austrian composer Gustav Mahler’s sprawling ninth symphony will be brought to life in a unique concert performed by Fulham Symphony Orchestra next weekend.
The local orchestra – which performs at Hammersmith Town Hall on 18 March – will swell its ranks to more than 90 musicians for the concert. It will also mark the first time the FSO has performed the legendary symphony.
The orchestral event is set to be an ‘overwhelming experience’, according the FSO’s conductor Marc Dooley. “This was the last piece Mahler completed and it is very concerned with human experience as he understood it at that point,” Marc added.
“It is imbued with an incredible love for life, and a desire to live life to the fullest, but in the knowledge that life brings hardship and toil.”
The symphony – which Mahler worked on shortly after his young daughter’s death and was completed around 1908 to 1909 – requires a large orchestra, as it includes expanded woodwind sections, as well as passages for solo piccolo, flute, horn, oboe and cellos.
Although the FSO has previously performed other Mahler works since it was founded in 1958, this will be its first showcase of his ninth symphony.
“It is seen as one of the big highpoints of symphonic music and it is a good time for us to approach it,” added Mr Dooley.
“What is wonderful about Mahler’s music is the way you get the overwhelming experience of an enormous orchestra playing together, as well as moments of incredible intimacy and delicacy where he uses solo instruments almost like chamber music – but because he has all these instruments available it is always surprising what new colours he can think of.”
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