We’ve heard the phrase, “Go big or go home.” If we look at the La Jolla Symphony’s upcoming season, those folks are never going home. The season contains Mahler’s Fifth Symphony, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, and Berlioz’s colossal Requiem.
This weekend is Mahler’s Fifth Symphony at Mandeville Auditorium. Mahler's First Symphony was dubbed The Titan but there are no non-titanesque Mahler symphonies.
Mahler: Symphony No. 5
World Orchestra for Peace · BBC Proms 2010
Besides Mahler's first, the fifth might be the most accessible to those who have yet to be bitten by the Mahler bug. I say yet to be because at some point or another, every fan of the orchestra repertoire has a fever and the only cure is more Mahler.
Not more cowbell? Well, yes and more cowbell from the pastoral movement of Mahler's Seventh which, by the way, is on the schedule for the San Diego Symphony this year.
I personally came to Mahler through his Eight. What self-respecting 20-something can resist a flashy CD cover that says “Symphony of a Thousand”?
I was initiated into a subculture of Bruckner and Mahler. There were hushed yet intense mutterings of Haas and Novak editions. Reclusive entities who worship at the altar of High Fidelity asserted themselves and championed Bruno Walter or Bernstein or some publisher named Kaplan who conducted onlyMahler’s Second. Simon Rattle became a household name and was measured against Klemperer.
God help us all if Carlos Kleiber had recorded more Mahler than just Das Lied von der Erde.
If you or anyone you know is looking to adopt a new obsession then accept the dare and go hear Mahler this weekend.
This music is in the La Jolla Symphony wheelhouse and they will do it justice.