David Lockington Conducts Mahler’s “Resurrection” at Final Concert
April 22, 2015
Grand Rapids Symphony
616.454.9451 x 110
the leadership of Music Director David Lockington, the Grand Rapids Symphony
has achieved new heights of artistic excellence and greater acclaim: four-star
ratings by The Grand Rapids Press, a
Grammy-nominated performance with hip-harpist Deborah Henson Conant, the
orchestra’s 2005 debut at Carnegie Hall and innovative diversity, education and
inclusion initiatives. Lockington will conduct his last concerts in the role on
Friday, May 8 and Saturday, May 9, 8:00 p.m. at DeVos Performance Hall as a
part of the Richard and Helen DeVos Classical Series. The singular work featured in “David’s
Grand Finale” will be Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, “Resurrection.”
The Grand Rapids Symphony Chorus and two
guest vocalists, Kelley Nassief and Susan Platts, will join the orchestra for
what is sure to be a powerful and significant performance.
Since the beginning of David Lockington’s tenure
as GRS Music Director, the orchestra has played one major work by Mahler
annually. The composer’s second symphony, “Resurrection,” was the composer’s
first major work that established his lifelong meditation on the universal
themes of life, death and human fate. The piece is also one of Lockington’s
favorite works. The Grand Rapids Symphony has completed a full cycle of
Mahler’s nine symphonies over Lockington’s tenure, making Mahler’s
“Resurrection” a fitting and spectacular end to his final season.
Mahler’s second symphony is an elaborate work
with a gargantuan orchestra, choir, organ, church bells, an offstage brass
ensemble and a massive battery of percussion. According to Mahler’s own program
notes, the first movement is intended to represent the death of the hero in his
first symphony: “…it is the hero of my First Symphony that I am burying here
and whose life I am gathering up in a clear mirror…At the same time is the
great questions: Why have you lived? Why have you suffered? Is all this merely
a great, horrible jest? We must resolve these questions somehow or other, if we
are to go on living.” To answer these questions, the second movement is a
gentle, old-fashioned dance of lilting grace, representing long-forgotten
pleasure, followed by a grotesque waltz for the third movement shot through
with earsplitting chords to astonishing effect. The fourth movement serves as
an introduction to the finale with a child’s song, wistfully longing for relief
from life’s burdens.
With the colossal fifth and final movement, Mahler
introduced sounds and effects never before used in symphonic music to depict
the last judgment and resurrection, resulting in one of the most powerful
climaxes in classical music. In Mahler’s own words, "The earth
quakes, the graves burst open, the dead arise and stream on in endless
procession. The trumpets of the apocalypse ring out. All is quiet and blissful. There
is no judgment, no sinners, no just men, no great and no small; there is no
punishment and no reward. A feeling of overwhelming love fills us with blissful
knowledge and illuminates our existence."
a free pre-concert multi-media presentation, will be hosted in the Recital Hall
before each performance at 7:00 p.m. Upbeat is sponsored by BDO USA. “David’s
Grand Finale” will be rebroadcast on Sunday, June 14 at 1:00 p.m. on Blue Lake
Public Radio, FM 88.9 or FM 90.3.
“David’s Grand Finale” is sponsored by
Warner Norcross & Judd. The guest artists for this concert are supported by
the Edith I. Blodgett Guest Artist Fund.
Tickets start at $18 and are available at the Symphony office, weekdays 9 a.m.
to 5 p.m., 300 Ottawa NW, Suite 100, (located across from the Calder Plaza), or
by calling 616.454.9451 x 4. (Phone orders will be charged a $2 per ticket
service fee, with a $12 maximum.) Tickets are available by phone in the evening
and on Saturday by calling 616.885.1241. Tickets are available at the DeVos
Place Box Office, weekdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., or on the day of the concert
beginning two hours prior to the performance. Tickets may also be purchased
through Ticketmaster, 800.982.2787, online at GRSymphony.org or in person at
Ticketmaster outlets: select D&W Fresh Markets, Family Fare Stores and
Walmart. Tickets purchased at these locations will include a Ticketmaster
service fee. Full-time
students of any age are able to purchase tickets for only $5 on the night of
the concert by enrolling in the Symphony’s Student Passport program. This is a
MySymphony360 eligible concert.
About the Grand Rapids Symphony
The Grand Rapids Symphony was officially organized
in 1930 and is nationally recognized for the quality of its concerts and
educational programs. Led by Music Director David Lockington, Principal Pops
Conductor Bob Bernhardt and Associate Conductor John Varineau, nine concert
series are presented, featuring a wide range of music and performance styles.
More than 400 performances are presented each year, touching the lives of some
170,000. Nearly half of those who benefit are students, senior citizens and
people with disabilities reached through extensive education and community
service programs. The Symphony’s Affiliated Organizations include the Grand
Rapids Bach Festival, Grand Rapids Symphony Chorus, Grand Rapids Youth Symphony
and Classical Orchestra, and Grand Rapids Symphony Youth Choruses. The Symphony
also provides the orchestra for Opera Grand Rapids and the Grand Rapids Ballet
Company. To learn more about the Grand Rapids Symphony please visit GRSymphony.org.
This activity is supported in part by an award from the Michigan
Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts.