The Edmonton Symphony and Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra joined forces last week to perform Mahler’s 3rd Symphony.
What’s Up: On November 10, the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra (CPO) and the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra (ESO) along with the CPO’s soprano and alto sections, mezzo-soprano soloist Susan Platts, and the Calgary Girls’ Choir, joined forces to perform Mahler’s 3rd Symphony. The two neighbouring Alberta symphonies combined for the first time in over 25 years to a sold-out audience at the Jack Singer Concert Hall conducted by the CPO’s music director, Rune Bergmann. The following night, the concert moved to Edmonton at a sold-out Winspear Centre.
Refresher: The last time the CPO and ESO combined forces was in 1997 to perform Mahler’s 8th Symphony. Such combinations are necessary in order to perform Mahler’s music, as the ESO’s core only includes 56 players and the CPO’s 66. Mahler’s 3rd Symphony calls for 8 french horns, 8 timpanis, and 2 harps, usually amounting to over 100 players onstage. It consists of 6 movements and is the longest symphony in the orchestral canon.
Digging Deeper: Canada’s orchestral scene suffered a major blow earlier this year with the sudden closure of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, one of the country’s most historic and accomplished orchestral groups. Initiatives such as the CPO and ESO’s combined performance lends a glimmer of hope for the northern country’s musical landscape.
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