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Youth Philharmonic Orchestra, Loebel
Boston, Massachusetts
Thursday, 20 November 2014 - 8:00 PM
Conductor: David Loebel
Since tonight's program consists entirely of a single long work by Gustav Mahler, his First Symphony, conductor David Loebel offers these words on the evolution of Mahler's place in the orchestral repertoire, and the ability of a contemporary youth orchestra to play his music:

"It’s interesting to contrast Mahler’s First Symphony with Brahms’ Fourth, which YPO performed this past June. The symphonies were written only a few years apart, but they’re so different from each other. Brahms’s austere orchestration and tight construction make his music sound disciplined and self-contained; Mahler’s music, with its huge orchestration and over-the-top emotion, is anything but.

"When I was the age of YPO’s musicians, any performance of a Mahler symphony was a special occasion and even fine professional orchestras found some of his music tough going. Nowadays, Mahler is one of our most frequently performed composers; here in Boston, hardly a month goes by without a performance somewhere of a Mahler symphony. It’s especially wonderful to see how the skills of our young musicians have advanced so far that college and high school orchestras (like YPO) can play Mahler with the technical assurance his music requires.

"The biggest challenge for any orchestra that plays Mahler is physical endurance. I’ve always thought that teenagers had unlimited energy but, in fact, the members of YPO have had to learn during our rehearsals how to pace themselves over the course of a demanding 50-minute symphony. As always, their youthful enthusiasm is an inspiration and it’s a real privilege for me to help them discover such great music from the inside out."
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