About this Performance: Dudamel launches an utterly fascinating and inspired survey combining all of Schubert’s symphonies with orchestral songs by Mahler, emphasizing the deep connection between these Viennese masters who bookend the Romantic era.
Having absorbed the marvels of Mozart’s and Haydn’s Classicism at the hands of Salieri, the 16-year-old Franz Schubert took a major step forward in his development by completing his First Symphony, which begins with a regal adagio. Two years later, he completed No. 2, extending himself further with extensive modulations and astonishing harmonic shifts, which became his hallmark.
Combined with early Schubert is early Mahler, though the latter was already in his mid-20s. Following an unhappy love for a soprano with whom he had worked, Mahler produced four songs overflowing with a young man’s heartache. Using his own texts, he composed them first for voice and piano, later orchestrating and revising them.
Two of the four became very important material for his First Symphony. The best known and most frequently performed of Mahler’s early compositions, it will be sung by one of the world’s most exciting mezzo-sopranos, Colorado-born Michelle DeYoung, who graduated from California State University, Northridge.