Treat dad to some Mahler magic
SOCKS and jocks are fine for Father’s Day this weekend but what about a bit of Mahler as well?
The folks at the Brisbane Symphony Orchestra have come up with a novel way to celebrate dad’s big day on Sunday by presenting a stirring concert, Mahler – The Resurrection Symphony, at Brisbane City Hall.
Orchestra founder and conductor Antoni Bonetti says the Mahler piece is a crowd-puller that will transport audiences.
“I do believe people will experience a little bit of heaven on Earth listening to the Brisbane Symphony Orchestra and Brisbane Chorale perform Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony,” Bonetti says.
“This symphony, Mahler’s favourite of the nine he composed, calls for huge orchestral forces. Several hundred musicians will be involved on and off stage including 12 French horn players, six trumpeters, three timpanists and two harpists. Brisbane Chorale director, Emily Cox, has prepared the 100 voice choir, which will be joined by soloists Georgia Hawes White (a mezzo soprano) and soprano Melinda Janetzki.
“This concert will be a way of treating dad to a wholly uplifting experience this Father’s Day,” Bonetti says.
“This year we are featuring the music of Beethoven, Bruckner, Strauss and Mahler. We hope the Mahler concert will be a real crowd-puller.”
The Resurrection Symphony was written by Gustav Mahler between 1888 and 1894 and was first performed in 1895.
This was considered the composer’s most popular symphony (along with his Eighth Symphony) and was his first major work exploring his lifelong view of the beauty of the afterlife and resurrection.
Existential questions and visions of his own death plagued Mahler.
The middle movements meditate on such darker issues but the music ultimately transcends the bleak gloom, and an angelic folk poem, Primal Light, bursts forth from the terror of the last judgment into the salvation of the resurrection.
The work had its world premiere in Berlin with the composer conducting the Berlin Philharmonic.
It is an ambitious piece for a community orchestra but the Brisbane Symphony Orchestra has proved it is up to the task. The orchestra plays up to eight concerts a year in Brisbane and regional centres of southeast Queensland, including Symphony in the Park at Maleny.
Musicians come from all walks of life. Principal clarinet Gavin Rebetzke, a barrister, says the “camaraderie of likeminded people and the music” is what keeps him connected.
Rebetzke says his favourite symphonies are by Shostakovich, Mahler and Brahms, so he’ll be a happy man come Sunday.
Bonetti, who is founding conductor and artistic director of the orchestra, also runs the Noosa Orchestra, which played at the recent Noosa Long Weekend Festival.
He lectures at UQ and is head of strings at St Aidan’s Anglican Girls School and also teaches at Good Shepherd Lutheran College Noosa. But this Sunday he is conducting and he promises it will be an uplifting and entertaining Father’s Day, if you don’t mind a little Mahler, that is.
Mahler – The Resurrection Symphony, Main Auditorium, Brisbane City Hall, 3pm, Sept 6, $40-$50, 3pm; bookings phone 3847 1717 or 4mbs.com.au