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Photo courtesy Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra

Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra presents Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 

By Ramiro Bustamante Torres, November 7 2023—

After 27 years, the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra (CPO) and the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra are playing together in what is named Alberta in Harmony: Moving Mahler on Nov. 10 at the Jack Singer Concert Hall. Accompanied by the Calgary Girls Choir and the Calgary Philharmonic Chorus with soloist Susan Platts, they will perform the world-encompassing Symphony No. 3 by Gustav Mahler. 

In an interview with Rune Bergmann, the music director of the CPO, he shared his excitement for the performance and the importance it has for people to engage. He shared that Mahler has gained popularity with younger audiences like Mozart and Beethoven have had before. He relates the interest to the challenges that people are facing now.

“Everything Mahler writes has nature in it […]  he goes through the sadness, the joy, the hope and the frustrations — it’s all in there,” said Bergmann. “I think it is because it speaks to us in such an emotional way. And I would say, what the world needs now is more music by Mahler because we need to calm down […] and he is the man to do it.”

There will be over 200 performers on stage and it will run for around an hour and a half as Mahler’s longest symphony — this will be the only piece performed that night. While it is the longest of Mahler’s symphonies, the CPO had previously performed Mahler’s eighth symphony, which is dubbed “the Symphony of a Thousand”, in 2016 with around 341 performers on stage. Excerpts from Frederich Nietzsche’s Also sprach Zarathustra and Mahler’s Des Knaben Wunderhorn can be heard in the fourth and fifth movements. Susan Platts will have the solo for the fourth movement and with a strong background in singing Mahler, it will be a treat to hear her perform. 

Bergmann shared that this is an event that can’t be missed, especially for those excited to see a Mahler symphony be performed. He explained that some people have flown before to see certain performances since they can be expensive to perform. He reiterated the importance of the piece and the work the CPO has been doing.

“We are an orchestra for the world,” said Bergmann. “I think this is also something that is just great today to show that we can all come together, we can all work together.”

For tickets to see the performance or to know more about the CPO’s season, visit their website.

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