The Kennedy Center

Runnicles/ Mahler

National Symphony Orchestra: Runnicles conducts Mahler's Tenth Symphony

Thursday, March 1, 2018 - Saturday, March 3, 2018

National Symphony Orchestra

Donald Runnicles returns to lead Mahler's Symphony No. 10, a moving work sketched in the wake of his daughter's death and completed after his own. This posthumous entry continues the NSO's multi-season Mahler exploration.

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Donald Runnicles returns to lead Mahler's Symphony No. 10, a moving work sketched in the wake of his daughter's death and completed after his own. This posthumous entry continues the NSO's multi-season Mahler exploration.

NSO Music Director Gianandrea Noseda's notes on the program:
"Though Mahler’s Tenth Symphony was left unfinished by the composer and completed after his death, there is more of Mahler in it than there is Mozart in his Requiem. Mahler sketched the piece in the wake of his young daughter’s death, which—according to his wife Alma—set off a crisis of mortality for the composer. In Alma’s telling, Mahler obsessed over a perceived connection between Beethoven and Bruckner’s deaths, both timed closely to their ninth symphonies. He resolved to cheat his impending doom, naming (rather than numbering) his chronological ninth symphony and aiming to finish his numbered ninth and tenth symphonies as swiftly as possible. Others speculate that Alma perpetuated this myth to shroud a parallel influence: Mahler’s discovery of her infidelity. Indeed, this alone served as a crushing symbol of how loss had perhaps wounded this couple’s marriage beyond mending. Whatever scenario one subscribes to, however, this much is certain: The music at hand is raw, reflective, and imbued with intense emotion. Donald Runnicles returns to lead this deeply moving symphony that echoes and elaborates upon its originator’s ideas in good faith. The NSO’s multi-season Mahler Explored series—which strives to perform all of the composer’s symphonies across multiple seasons—would certainly not be complete without it."

Performance Timing: Approximately 70 minutes, with no intermission.

Pleae Note: There is no late seating for this performance. Please plan to arrive at the Kennedy Center with sufficient time for parking, picking up tickets, and being seated in the Concert Hall.


AfterWords
Immediately following the Thu., Mar. 1 performance
Stay after the performance for an insightful discussion with the some of the exciting guest artists and NSO musicians featured on the night's program, moderated by NSO Director of Artistic Planning Nigel Boon. You may even have an opportunity to ask a question! Look for even more of these offerings throughout the season; each AfterWords is free with your concert ticket.

ForeWords, with Anna Celenza
Beginning at 6:45 p.m. before the Fri., Mar. 2 and Sat., Mar. 3 performances
Take a journey into the fascinating stories behind the music led by knowledgeable and engaging artists and scholars! Look for even more of these offerings throughout the season; each ForeWords begins at 6:45 p.m. (the Concert Hall doors open 15 minutes prior), lasts 30 minutes, and is free and open to the public.

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Program & Notes

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