Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 is big – very big. The orchestra includes quadruple woodwind, eight horns, two timpanists plus several other percussionists, two harps, a women’s chorus, a children’s chorus, and a contralto soloist, Hannah Poulson. It’s also huge in length: almost one and three-quarter hours, comprising six movements. And while we are on size, the range in mood, style, volume and orchestration is prodigious. The enigmatic titles of the movements, such as ‘What the flowers in the meadow tell me’, ‘What the animals in the
forest tell me’, and ‘What Man tells me’, are not prompts for imagined scenes or narratives. Commentators suggest they are vital supports for the creative process, like scaffolding for the construction of a building, to be ignored or removed once the work is done.
The symphony may be considered as a composite musical journey, cross-references between the movements providing cohesion and assurance throughout this epic event. Those who know the work will delight in this opportunity to hear it again. Those who don’t should seize this opportunity to engage with one of the most remarkable works of the early 20th century. What an opportunity for Mahler and CCSO supporters!
Admission: £18, £16 (concessions), £8 (students), £5 (under 14)
- Phone: 01223 300085 (12:30 - 16:00 on Monday, 12:30 - 19:00 Tuesday - Friday, and 15:00 - 19:00 on Saturday).
- In person: ADC Box Office, Park St, Cambridge, CB5 8AS – just off Jesus Lane