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Korngold, Strauss, and Mahler: The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert on WRTI, June 2nd at 2pm

Violinist Hilary Hahn
Violinist Hilary Hahn

Celebrated violinist Hilary Hahn returns to Philadelphia to perform Korngold's Violin Concerto.  The concerto was dedicated to Alma Mahler, the widow of Korngold's childhood mentor Gustav Mahler. It was premiered on February 15, 1947 by Jascha Heifetz.  Heifetz's performance launched the work into the standard repertoire, and it quickly became Korngold's most popular piece.

The Symphony No. 1 in D major by Gustav Mahler was mainly composed between late 1887 and March 1888, though it incorporates music Mahler had composed for previous works. Trademark fanfares, folk melodies, and thunderous crescendos punctuate the piece, along with humorous folk tunes and inventive orchestrations. It was composed while Mahler was second conductor at the Leipzig Opera, Germany. The work was premiered at the Vigadó Concert Hall in Budapest in 1889, received some major revisions for the second performance given at Hamburg in October 1893,  and underwent even further alterations in the years prior to the first publication in late 1898.

In a rare treat the program will include Richard Strauss's Love Scene from his 1901 opera Feuersnot.  Since Strauss's time, the opera has rarely been staged or performed.  It did not make its US premiere until December 1, 1927 by the Philadelphia Civic Opera Company at Philadelphia's Metropolitan Opera House.  This work departs from the medieval and Wagnerian milieu Strauss used in his first opera, Guntram (1887 - 93), and is significant for its more personal text.