Wesley Schulz, conductor
Megan Chenovick, soprano
Barber – Knoxville: Summer of 1915, Op. 24
Mahler – Symphony No. 4 in G major
Samuel Barber’s nostalgic Knoxville: Summer of 1915 draws upon the poems of James Agee and is sung by a soprano. The work is in a single movement and delivers tender melodies and delicious evocations of sitting on a porch in high summer.
Gustav Mahler’s Fourth Symphony was birthed through song. “Das himmlische Leben,” or “Heavenly life,” is the source from which the Fourth Symphony springs. In a unique turn of composition Mahler knew he wanted to use this song as the final movement of the symphony. When composing, he therefore worked backward knowing already how the symphony would end. The trajectory of the symphony moves from complexity to simplicity, ending with a beautiful image of heaven.
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