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Great Organ: David Briggs

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2018
7:30 PM – 9:30 PM

David Briggs performs his own transcription of Symphony No. 6 in A minor by Gustav Mahler, which will fully demonstrate the Great Organ's ability (perhaps even greater than the full symphony orchestra) to portray a truly kaleidoscopic sonic palette, in a massive sound world which, in combination with the overwhelming acoustics of the Cathedral, could be described as wholly transcendent.

There will be a ticketed pre-concert talk by David Briggs, with wine and canapés at 6:30 pm.

About Symphony No. 6
According to Alma Mahler, Symphony No. 6 (written in 1903-4, re-orchestrated in 1906) is autobiographical, but written in advance of events; musical second sight if you will. Her husband was as personally and professionally fulfilled as at any time, yet here he was writing the darkest, most devastating music: this symphony, and his Kindertotenlieder - songs on the death of children. The Symphony's Scherzo has inside it what Alma called 'the arrhythmical play of little children'...but by the time we get to the coda, the childish voices become more and more tragic, finally to die out in a whimper. Mahler himself wrote that in the Finale ‘the hero…is assaulted by three hammer-blows of fate, the last of which fells him as a tree is felled’ - so when in 1907 the Mahler’s eldest daughter died of diphtheria, Mahler lost his post at the Vienna Opera, and his life-threatening heart condition was diagnosed, you can understand Alma's emotional accusation that her husband had been tempting fate with his Sixth Symphony. Without a shadow of doubt, listening to this music is just like looking into Gustav Mahler’s eyes - there is no filter.

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CATEGORY: Music