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Intellect

BYU Philharmonic, choirs to perform Mahler's "Resurrection"

April 9-10 at de Jong Concert Hall, April 13 at Salt Lake Tabernacle on Temple Square

Nearly 500 musicians and singers will perform during Brigham Young University School of Music's presentation of Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 2, "Resurrection," Friday and Saturday, April 9-10, at 7:30 p.m. in the de Jong Concert Hall.

Tickets at $9 and $3 off with a BYU or student ID are available through the Fine Arts Ticket Office, (801) 378-4322 or at www.byu.edu/hfac.

The concert will also be presented in the Salt Lake Tabernacle on Temple Square on Tuesday, April 13, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for the Salt Lake City concert are free, but must be obtained in advance at the Conference Center Box Office (door 4).

The Philharmonic Orchestra and the Combined Choirs--including the Men's Chorus, Women's Chorus, Concert Choir and University Singers--will perform in the Easter weekend concert that will feature two soloists, contralto Francesca Forsyth and soprano Jenny Litster.

BYU Philharmonic Conductor Kory Katseanes says the rarity of the opportunity to hear this symphony cannot be understated.

"I don't know if people understand the singularity of an event like this," he said. "The last time a BYU group performed the 'Resurrection' was 17 years ago, and it's going to be a long time before people have the opportunity to hear it again."

Katseanes said the piece is a landmark in music, and one of the greatest pieces in all music literature.

The normally 98-member Philharmonic Orchestra will be expanded to 138 people to accommodate Mahler's instrumentation specifications. They will be joined by 450 voices, combining the best of BYU's musical talent into one spectacular performance.

"If people knew this piece at all, they would be at the performance," Katseanes said. "The Mahler 'Resurrection' is one of the pieces music aficionados wait for—wait to hear, and wait to perform. It's so rare in a lifetime."

According to Mahler's program, the symphony explores the destination of the soul after death. Katseanes said that the subject matter is so appropriate to the Easter season, and so close to the hearts of all those affiliated with BYU that he's certain everyone who is able to attend will be profoundly moved.

Dale Monson, director of the BYU School of Music, calls the "Resurrection" one of the greatest monuments of Western art, and a cry of hope amidst despair.

"These performances become an expression of our own faith and conviction of the Restored Gospel in a troubled age," Monson said. "This performance brings together our finest young musicians, and the enormous orchestras and choirs interpret some of the most difficult literature in the performance repertoire."

Katseanes said he thinks it would be very few performances in the world that would be able to mount the immense forces the BYU group brings to the "Resurrection."

"You can't often find large-enough choirs to do this," he said. "It will be unique because you'll never again have the chance to hear the piece with this kind of power. The performance would be worth hearing for its size alone."

Monson agrees: "Few universities would attempt such a work. Above its technical difficulty, however, it is the message and spirit of the work that will carry its impact, an interpretation rising from the heart and testimony of our students. I anticipate it will be one of the highpoints in our performance history."

Ronald Staheli conducts the BYU Singers, Rosalind Hall conducts the Men's Chorus and Concert Choir and Vicki McMurray conducts the Women's Chorus.

For more information, contact Kory Katseanes at (801) 422-3331.

Writer: Rachel M. Sego

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