This week’s Symphonies of Iowa features Orchestra Iowa’s “Mahler Symphony 3” concert.
Austrian composer Gustav Mahler wrote music during the summer and conducted throughout the rest of the year. In the summer of 1894, he had a small hut built in Steinbach on the shore of a lake so he could compose without being disturbed. He spent the summers of ‘95 and ‘96 writing his Third Symphony, taking breaks only to sleep, eat, and take walks. Nature was certainly his “subject” for his Third Symphony, in addition to philosophical ideas such as the meaning of life, God and man, transcendence, and heaven and earth. Orchestra Iowa’s Timothy Hankewich describes Mahler’s Third Symphony as the “closest musical depiction of heaven” that he’s ever heard.
With six movements, Mahler’s Third Symphony contains the most movements of any of his works. Mahler himself described his symphony as “a work of such magnitude that it actually mirrors the whole world—one is, so to speak, only an instrument, played on by the universe. . . . My symphony will be something the like of which the world has never yet heard! The whole of nature finds a voice.” Mahler also uses women’s and children’s choirs and a female soloist to add even more color to the piece. Orchestra Iowa hosts The Discovery Chorus, Chorale Midwest Women’s Chorus, and Katherine Goeldner on this concert to perform those roles. Katherine Goeldner, mezzo soprano, graduated from the University of Iowa and currently performs in opera houses around the world, including the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. Don’t miss this week’s Symphonies of Iowa broadcast on Sunday, June 24th at 4 p.m. and again on Monday, June 25th at 7 p.m.!
MAHLER Third Symphony
Katherine Goeldner mezzo-soprano
The Discovery Chorus
Chorale Midwest Women’s Chorus