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June, 19 (10am)

Instead of a love letter, Mahler gave Alma this 'Adagietto'

Written between 1901 and 1904, Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 5 occupies a central place in the history of music. Since the composer's death, it has progressively gained popularity and has become a crucial score, a bridge between musical Romanticism and 20th century Modernism. 

A work that sums up the achievements of its predecessors and announces new paths that others will follow. 

No. 5 is again the second symphony without voices (purely instrumental after Symphony No. 1, ‘Titan’). While composing it, Mahler met Alma Schindler and proposed to her in the autumn of 1901. As always with Mahler, all biographical facts are intrinsically related to the development of his work. 

Five movements ranging from the opening funeral march to demonic music, through the more sombre and dramatic passages, the evocations of the elements of nature, the folklore of Austrian peasant dances, the elegance of the Viennese waltz, the intensity of the celebrated Adagietto (famously played by Leonard Bernstein at Robert Kennedy's funeral in 1968). 

Instead of a love letter, Mahler gave Alma this Adagietto: a sonorous poem without words. Josep Pons, a renowned Mahler advocate, will be the one to unveil the mysteries of this colossal score. 

With the support of:

  • Approximate running time 1h 15min
Symphony Orchestra of the Gran Teatre del Liceu
Josep Pons

May 2024

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