Phibbs, Joseph (b. 1974), New Commission
Mahler, Gustav (1860-1911), Symphony no. 2 in C minor 'Resurrection'
Esa-Pekka Salonen, Conductor
Kate Royal, Soprano
Ekaterina Gubanova, Mezzo-soprano
Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony takes the listener on a truly transcendental journey. In Mahler’s own words, “The first movement depicts the titanic struggles of a mighty being still caught in the toils of this world; grappling with life and with the fate to which he must succumb – his death”. The last movement deals with “the resolution of the terrible problem of life – redemption”. In Mahler’s original programme, he details the sounding of the Last Trumpet, the resurrection of the dead with wailing and gnashing of teeth, and then the fading away of all noise as everything ‘ceases to be’ before the enormous E flat major climax, with a chorus joined by soprano and alto soloists and pealing bells, representing souls reborn in Heaven. Although Mahler later withdrew his detailed ‘programme’, this enormous work clearly represents a huge personal journey: Mahler wrote of the last movement, “The increasing tension, working up to the final climax, is so tremendous that I don’t know myself, now that it is over, how I ever came to write it.”