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Sound of Charlotte Blog

A message from the Maestro

This weekend, we present Mahler's First Symphony on Friday and Saturday evening at Belk Theater. Read this letter from the Maestro below to learn why he thinks this concert is a must-see.


By now you know that Gustav Mahler is one of my absolute favorite composers. Not only because of the pure grandeur and genius of his writing, but also because of its complexities.

In 2012, I conducted Mahler's Fourth Symphony - my first step in this Mahler journey with your Charlotte Symphony - then Mahler's Fifth Symphony came next in 2015. In 2017, we experienced Mahler's Resurrection Symphony together a program that was met with a rousing standing ovation.

Now you have the chance to hear how it all began to hear how one of the greatest orchestral composers of the 20th century started carving out his symphonic path. Through his imaginative use of symphonic poetry, Mahler's First Symphony the "Titan" changed the genre forever.

Journey with me next as we experience the full range of human emotion out of the inferno and into paradise with your Charlotte Symphony. I've also programmed on the evening Mahler's Blumine, one of the original movements of Mahler's First Symphony, which the composer later removed from the piece.

You've trusted me along this Mahler journey thus far, and I truly do hope you'll join us this weekend at Belk Theater. You'll be in for a real treat.

See you at the Symphony!


Christopher Warren-Green
Music Director  Read more

Posted in Classics. Tagged as Classical, Mahler, Music Director.

Mahler Symphony No. 2: 5 Questions with...Kenney Potter

Charlotte Master Chorale (formerly Charlotte Symphony Chorus) Director Kenney Potter prepared 140 singers for performances of Mahler Symphony No. 2 on May 12 & 13, 2017. We sat down with Dr. Potter to ask a few questions about the process of preparing for such a massive work.

What moment should audiences listen for in the Charlotte Symphony's performance of Mahler Symphony No. 2?
Wow - there are so many! I think the chorus opening would be my favorite. It is hair-raisingly quiet.

What are the challenges in preparing a 140 person chorus for the Resurrection Symphony?
Speaking of....getting them to sing so quietly at the entrance. Also, it is such a massive work, balancing the chorus and orchestra is always an exciting challenge.

What percentage of the Chorus would you say has participated in it before?
Very few 13 people out of the 140-member chorus, and I've only performed it twice.

How do you connect the singers with the emotions of Mahler's work?
It isn't that difficult to do. You play a recording one time and they are hooked - then they sing it with piano and it gets really exciting. Only when they perform it with the full ensemble do you understand why this piece is so beloved.

What kind of response are you getting from the members of the Chorus about this piece? What makes Mahler 2 different for them?
They seem to be enjoying it, other than the fact that some of them are terrified to sing from memory! The challenge is that it is so physically and musically exhausting, particularly to be such a brief portion of the overall work (roughly 15 minutes).

Read more

Posted in Classics. Tagged as chorus, Classical, interview, Mahler.

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