Thursday, November 09, 2006

Mahler take[s] center stage

By Mary Ellyn Hutton
Cincinnati Post, November 9, 2006

There'll be music of the spirit and for the spirit by the Cincinnati Symphony this weekend.

CSO music director Paavo Järvi pairs two powerful works, Gustav Mahler's Ninth Symphony and "L'Ascension: quatre meditations symphoniques" ("Ascension: Four Symphonic Meditations") by Olivier Messiaen, at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Music Hall

Both express the soul's search for higher meaning, Mahler not without struggle, Messiaen secure in his Catholic faith.

Mahler who had withheld the number nine from his real ninth symphony (entitled "Das Lied von der Erde") out of superstition that, like Beethoven and Bruckner, it would be his last, says farewell to life with resignation and acceptance of the unknown. Signifying another kind of farewell, it is also the last great late Romantic symphony.

Messiaen's "L'Ascension" (1932-33) is four reflections, all with liturgical titles, on the soul's journey to heaven.

Tickets are $18.50-$77, $10 for students, half-price for seniors. Call (513) 381-3300 or order online at

Half-price ZIPTIX are available from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. concert days at the Music Hall box office.

Friday's concert is the first of this season's "College Nites" at the CSO, with $10 admission for college students, including a party after the concert in Music Hall's Corbett Tower. There will be live music by Sasha's Gypsy Caravan, free food, cash bar and mingling with Järvi and members of the CSO.

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