Long Beach Symphony Concludes Season with Mozart and Mahler

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long-beach-symphony-classicsSome music lovers might feel that the final Classics concert of the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra’s 2008-2009 season brings together an unlikely duo. But the May 30 pairing of Mozart’s melodious Symphony No. 15 and Mahler’s monumental Symphony No. 5 is intentionally and pleasingly complementary.

“I think it’s a wonderful combination,” says LBSO Music Director Enrique Arturo Diemecke. “Mozart and Haydn were the first masters of the symphonic form, while the romantic symphonic form found its culmination in the music of Gustav Mahler.”

Maestro Diemecke is a lifetime devotee of Mahler’s music. “I’ve never met a conductor who doesn’t love to conduct this great composer, yet he remains a mystery to many audiences.”

Diemecke continues: “Perhaps it’s the sheer length of Mahler symphonies that intimidates concertgoers. Still, Mahler is the direct descendant of Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms and Tchaikovsky. Beethoven started it all with his third symphony.”

Diemecke readily expresses admiration for Mozart as well, referring to him as an “unsurpassed compositional genius and a peerless master of sublime melody.” He notes, too, that a major difference between Mozart and Mahler is that the latter was much more concerned with virtuosic orchestral technique.

“Mahler was the greatest conductor of his day,” Diemecke says. “Never shy about breaking new compositional ground, he learned how to exploit instrumental color and technique like no other composer before him. I have no doubt that Mahler’s huge diversity of forces would have shocked Mozart. Or maybe ‘intrigued’ is a better word.”

Not surprisingly, the ensemble of LBSO musicians performing the much shorter Mozart work will be significantly smaller than the cohort playing the Mahler symphony. A temporary backdrop on the Terrace Theater stage will create an authentic atmosphere for Mozart’s more intimate composition.

LEXUS is the sponsor of LBSO’s 2008-2009 Classics series. Terrace Theater doors open at 6:30 p.m. A free half-hour concert preview in the hall, presented by KUSC radio personality Rich Capparela, starts at 7 p.m.

For ticket information, contact the LBSO box office at (562) 436-3203, ext. 1, or Ticketmaster at (213) 480-3232. For details online, visit lbso.org or ticketmaster.com.

Led by Enrique Arturo Diemecke, a maestro with international credentials, the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra is composed of world-class musicians, including many of Hollywood’s top studio players. For more about the organization, visit lbso.org.

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