The QCSO premiere of Mahler’s Symphony No. 3

The Quad City Symphony Orchestra is set to finish with possibly one of the grandest season finales possible with Mahler's Symphony No. 3. Mahler himself described his Third Symphony as being "...of such magnitude that it actually mirrors the whole world." This will be the QCSO premiere of Mahler's Third Symphony, which requires a massive orchestra, a women's choir, a children's choir, and a mezzo-soprano soloist. Filling these roles will be the Quad City Symphony Youth Choir led by Mary Tallitsch in their Masterworks debut, as well as a women's choir led by Jon Hurty and comprised of members from Quad City Choral Arts, the Augustana Choir, the Handel Oratorio Society, the Jenny Lind Vocal Ensemble, and the Pleasant Valley High School Women's Choir. The Quad City Symphony Orchestra will also be joined by Mezzo-Soprano Adriana Zabala. The concert will be performed on April 5 and 6. Saturday evening's concert is at the Adler Theatre in Davenport at 7:30 p.m., and followed on Sunday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. at Centennial Hall in Rock Island. This concert is sponsored by Trissel Graham & Toole, a division of Arthur J. Gallagher Risk Management Services, Inc.

The unique power and appeal of Gustav Mahler's music comes from many things, but chief among them is Mahler's ability to combine elements of common everyday life with the most sublime and transfigured personal statements. It is this remarkable contradiction that makes Mahler such an enigma and such a fascinating musical personality. His own personal strengths, weaknesses, and demons all found expression in his music and offer listeners extraordinary insight into the man, and also the universal human condition. For the Third Symphony Mahler envisioned capturing Nature in its totality in his music. This is Nature in a pantheistic sense, one that celebrates the emergence of summer out of winter and examines what one can learn from meadow flowers, from forest creatures, from the night, from angels, and from spiritual love. With these broad categories defined, Mahler set about composing six movements to explore each of these areas. Along the way the symphony's performing forces grew to encompass an expanded orchestra, solo alto voice, and both women's and children's choruses. Although he completed the symphony in 1896, the work waited until June 1902 to receive its first performance, a highly successful presentation in the German city of Krefeld with Mahler conducting. With the success of his Third Symphony, Mahler soon set out on a conducting tour, performing the Third as part of concert presentations in Heidelberg, Mannheim, Prague, Cologne, and Leipzig. Yet today, the Third is infrequently performed, chiefly because of its sizable production requirements.

On Friday, April 4, Music Director Mark Russell Smith will lead Inside the Music, this time at the Quad City Botanical Center in Rock Island at 12:00 noon. This luncheon is hosted by Volunteers for Symphony. Inside the Music is a great place to grab a bite to eat for lunch and get the inside scoop on the upcoming performances. This is also a great opportunity for music lovers throughout the Quad Cities to meet the guest artists in person. The luncheon is just $15 and reservations can be made at or by calling 563.322.QCSO (7276).