Mozart, Rehnqvist, Mahler: Breaking the Ice
July 28, 7:30 PM, Sunset Center Theater
Festival Orchestra; Clara Rottsolk, soprano
W.A. MOZART, Overture from The Marriage of Figaro, K. 492
KARIN REHNQVIST, “Breaking the Ice” from ARKTIS ARKTIS!
GUSTAV MAHLER, Symphony No. 4 in G Major
“The wide-open spaces, the wilderness, the light, the often-changing weather conditions – all were overwhelming experiences which, after returning home to Sweden, I felt the need to express in musical terms.” – ARKTIS ARKTIS! composer, Karin Rehnqvist
Mozart’s timeless classic Overture from The Marriage of Figaro sets the stage for this energetic and uplifting program.
ARKTIS ARKTIS! is the ideal soundtrack for an invigorating polar expedition. The low strings mirror the softspoken power of melting ice caps, while horns and high strings slide across the ice in rapid glissandi. With a deafening crack in the basses, the peaceful winter scene transforms into a series of dangerous obstacles. The violins join the basses and celli in an avalanche of sound before an abrupt silence. Then, as if slowly emerging from the rubble, a horn plays in the distance and nature’s course resumes in the light of day.
Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 is perhaps the lightest of his symphonies, smaller in orchestration and shorter than the earlier symphonies. Yet, the composer’s trademark passion propels the symphony from its opening melody, said to express “a dewdrop on a flower before the sun shines into it.” The surreal scherzo movement features an extended violin solo tunefully written to replicate folk or street music. During the serene third movement, it’s easy to imagine the composer rowing on the lake by his new summer home. The fourth movement is characterized as a view of heaven through a child’s eyes as the piece closes with a sublime soprano song, “The angel voices enliven the senses, so that everyone awakes for joy.”