For this program YIVO joins forces with the young, “intrepid” (New Yorker) vocal and instrumental chamber ensemble Cantata Profana to present Gustav Mahler’s epic song symphony, Das Lied von der Erde (The Song of the Earth) in Arnold Schoenberg and Rainer Riehn’s chamber orchestra arrangement. The program places this work in the context of its German and Jewish milieu pairing it with short works by Arnold Schoenberg, Johann Strauss II, Giacomo Meyerbeer, and Louis Lewandowski, as well as a new work by composer Alex Weiser showcasing a Jewish folk melody which Mahler might have heard as a young man. Alex Weiser will introduce the program with a brief discussion of Mahler’s Jewish identity, both from Mahler’s perspective and from that of those around him.
Cantata Profana is a fearless vocal and instrumental chamber ensemble now entering its sixth season of presenting “every kind of classical music you might imagine” (New Yorker). The ensemble is devoted to new music, old music “to most anything, so long as the mixture is put together thoughtfully and put across persuasively” (NY Times). Cantata Profana’s artists combine virtuosic talent with innovative staging, lighting, and design, collaborating to present eclectic and diverse masterpieces with a theatrical flair. We transcend the typical chamber music concert with programming that pulls from every century, allowing pieces to speak to each other across time periods and continents, just as the performers speak to the audience. Each concert offers a never before imagined way of telling stories through music.
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