The Asheville Symphony Orchestra (ASO), under the direction of ASO music director Daniel Meyer, presents Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 1, Titan, on Saturday, May 13, at 8 p.m., at the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium. The evening will open with Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 3, featuring guest violinist Yevgeny Kutik.
“Mahler and Mozart were both Austria-based composers keenly in-tune with the popular music and styles of their day,” says Meyer. “In fact, much of their so-called ‘art music’ is richly infused with dance styles and melodies that would have been as familiar on the street or in the beer hall as on the concert stage. I chose these two works to reflect that important connection, leaping from styles of the street into the most exquisite concerted music one can imagine.”
Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 3, arguably the composer’s most popular violin concerto, is an intimate and graceful piece highlighted by Kutik’s performance. The Russian-American musician, who has captivated audiences worldwide, is praised for his technical precision and virtuosity as well as his poetic and imaginative interpretations of standard works and his rarely heard and newly composed repertoire.
“I love all of the Mozart violin concerti, but perhaps the third one is my favorite,” says Kutik. “He strikes a remarkable balance, wherein the violin is both a virtuoso instrument and an operatic character straight from one of his works. I find it fascinating how much sheer beauty is in each line.”
The second and final piece on the program, Mahler’s Symphony No. 1, Titan, is a powerful symphony scored for an orchestra of approximately 100 musicians. The full palette of emotions is on display in this work, which ranges from joyous to ominous and subdued to raucously triumphant. “
All of what makes Mahler so singular—his complete mastery of the orchestra, his keen ear for color, his ability to shift from one emotional extreme to another—can be heard in his First Symphony,” says Meyer.
ASO performs and promotes symphonic music for the benefit, enjoyment and education of Western North Carolina residents. Related organizations include the Asheville Symphony Guild, Asheville Symphony Chorus, Asheville Symphonettes and education initiatives such as the Asheville Symphony Youth Orchestra, Music in the Schools, MusicWorks!, Spotlight on Young Musicians, Symphony Talks and pre-concert lectures.
Thomas Wolfe Auditorium is located at 87 Haywood Street, Asheville. Tickets are $22–$62 depending on seating section. Reduced youth pricing is available. Single tickets and season ticket packages can be purchased online at ashevillesymphony.org, by phone at 828.254.7046, or in person at the U.S. Cellular Center box office at 87 Haywood Street.