I find listening to Mahler symphonies among the most intoxicating, addictive classical music experiences. Mahler discovered a way to take the immersive world of characters, symbols, and emotions in a Wagner opera and articulate that world using the abstract sonic tapestry of the symphony orchestra. And he did it from a deeply autobiographical perspective. Each symphony is an epic journey that works through a complex set of emotions in a way we can all identify with our own lives.
In eight evenings together, we explore in-depth four of Mahler's symphonies using piano demos, recordings, and your participation and discussion. We begin with the first and second symphonies with their heroic narratives, then on to the mystical fourth symphony that begins with sleigh bells, the tragic sixth symphony with the hammer blows, and the great sublime farewell of the ninth symphony that Leonard Bernstein described as the twilight of Romanticism.