Wilkins, France Discuss Mahler’s ‘Resurrection’
November 6th, 2014
Omaha, NE — Everyoneâ€™s invited to UNO for a preview of the next Omaha Symphony Masterworks concert.
The Omaha Symphonyâ€™s Music Director, Thomas Wilkins, was recently joined by Hal France for a Creative Forum on UNOâ€™s campus. Two discussed the orchestraâ€™s upcoming performance of a major symphonic masterpiece, Mahlerâ€™s â€œResurrectionâ€ Symphony No. 2. Mahler was born to a Jewish family but converted to Catholicism shortly after this work was completed. However, Hal France says that Mahlerâ€™s interest not religion or theology.
â€œMahler was very concerned about the afterlife,â€ he said. â€œHe had an interesting spiritual life. Hi
s works are extraordinarily spiritual, theyâ€™re all geared toward spirituality in some form or another.â€
With such a significant underlying theme, Mahler made use of an extensive group of performers.
â€œWell itâ€™s a gargantuan orchestra,â€ he said. â€œQuadruple winds…there are ten horns and eight trumpets, a huge percussion section, a big string sectionâ€¦.choral symphony.â€
Despite the large number of performances and the public venue, Music Director Thomas Wilkins says the writing is very personal and intimate for individuals.
â€œMahler exposes me emotionally in places that sometimes I want to keep covered,â€ Wilkins said.
Wilkins, who will be leading this weekendâ€™s performance, also points out that Mahler was a well-known opera conductor, which explains the musical theatrics.
â€œFirst he grabs us by the throat with this gesture, but then the cellos and the basses play five notes followed by a fermata, a pause, an air of suspense.â€
The Omaha Symphony will perform Mahlerâ€™s â€œResurrectionâ€ Symphony this Friday and Saturday, November 7 & 8. Both performances are at 7:30 pm at the Holland Performing Arts Center. More information and tickets can be found at www.omahasymphony.org.
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