Mahler Symphony No. 5
Sunday, March 26, 2023 at 4pm
Saint Andrew’s Lutheran Church
900 Stillwater Road, Mahtomedi, MN
William Schrickel, conductor
Gustav Mahler — Symphony No. 5 in C-sharp minor
Following the 1904 premiere of Gustav Mahler’s massive Symphony No. 5, the composer dejectedly complained that “nobody understood it.” Now considered to be one of the greatest and most iconic symphonies in the entire orchestral repertoire, Mahler’s symphony (much like Beethoven’s monumental Fifth Symphony) portrays a kaleidoscopic journey from darkness and tragedy to light and renewed life. The work begins with a bipartite funeral march that is alternately profoundly mournful and vehemently angry. The central scherzo, bright and unbuttoned, features the solo horn and recurring Austrian dance rhythms. The sublime Adagietto for strings and harp introduces the finale, which progresses through a complex series of exhilarating contrapuntal episodes to the symphony’s cathartic, victorious conclusion.