Thursday Morning Coffee Prelude Series

Osmo Vänskä and Erin Keefe | Photo © Travis Anderson

Vänskä Conducts Mahler's Titan Symphony

About This Concert:

No first symphony has ever rocked the world like Mahler’s stunning Titan—joyous and bold, the composer’s audacious wish to embrace all of humanity in a single piece of music.

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Osmo Vänskä, conductor
  • Erin Keefe, violin

WEILL
Violin Concerto

MAHLER
Symphony No. 1, Titan

Fun Facts:

  • Gustav Mahler wrote his Symphony No. 1 on the inspiration of simple German folk tunes and poetry, and turned that into a fabulously colorful tapestry for brass, strings, winds and percussion, and perhaps the most daring first symphony of any composer.
  • Kurt Weill, who composed Broadway superhits like “Mack the Knife,” also wrote dozens of concert works as a young man in his native Germany.
  • Weill shed no tears when he left Germany for America, and said, “The moment I landed here I felt as though I’d come home.”
  • When Erin Keefe was young, her father wanted her to study piano, but the front door of their house wasn’t big enough to move a piano in, so violin it was.
Daniel Müller-Schott, cello

Britten and Schumann

About This Concert:

Schumann painted the human soul at its most noble and lyrical in his beautiful Cello Concerto, while a century later during World War II, Britten created his touching Sinfonia as an impassioned cry for peace.

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Michael Francis, conductor
  • Daniel Müller-Schott, cello

BRITTEN
Sinfonia da Requiem

SCHUMANN
Cello Concerto

VAUGHAN WILLIAMS
Symphony No. 6

Fun Facts:

  • Music in response to war: Benjamin Britten was a passionate pacifist and Ralph Vaughan Williams saw the horrors of war first-hand–each created powerful music against it.
  • Britten risked his career in declaring conscientious objector status at the beginning of WWII, and he left his beloved England for the States where his brand new Sinfonia was premiered.
  • Vaughan Williams was a close eyewitness to WWI’s senseless carnage as an ambulance driver to and from the front lines.
  • Daniel Müller-Schott was only three or four years old when he went with his mother to an orchestral rehearsal to hear the Schumann Concerto. When they got back home, he asked her if he could start cello lessons.
  • Daniel Müller-Schott shocked the music world in 1992, winning the International Tchaikovsky Competition at age 15.
  • When not practicing cello, Müller-Schott is often found on a soccer field.
Osmo Vänskä, conductor | Photo © Stephanie Berger

Season Finale: Vänskä Conducts Mahler's Fourth

About This Concert:

The luminous soprano Carolyn Sampson joins us to perform Mahler’s Fourth—a quiet version of heaven where a child’s every dream comes true.

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Osmo Vänskä, conductor
  • Carolyn Sampson, soprano
  • R. Douglas Wright, trombone
  • Kari Sundström, trombone
  • Andrew Chappell, bass trombone
  • Steven Campbell, tuba

STEPHENSON
Low Brass Concerto [World Premiere]

MAHLER
Symphony No. 4

Fun Facts:

  • One of the powerful foundations of our Orchestra is our rockstar low-brass section; Hidden in plain sight, these four gents are the best in the biz!
  • Strauss’ contemporary Gustav Mahler wrote encouragingly for the brass in almost all of his 10 symphonies, giving glorious fanfares to them—though in his tender Symphony No. 4, Mahler gave pride of place to the strings and a solo soprano.
  • The soprano in Mahler’s Fourth sings every exasperated parent’s dinnertime fantasy, as a child describes “good greens of every sort grow in the heavenly vegetable patch, good asparagus, string beans, and whatever we want!”

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