Mahler’s fifth symphony became part of popular culture in 1971 when film director Lucino Visconti used it in Death in Venice. In the film, the majesty and beauty of the symphony’s fourth movement, the Adagietto, builds up from nothing to dominate the scene. Carry on reading
This season opens with a performance by the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra of this powerful work, showing there is much more to the symphony than the Adagietto: the opening march, the trumpet solo, the stunning scherzo and the final apotheosis. Mahler was very worried about the difficulty of the work prior to its first performance. “Rehearse carefully or I will be booed”. The premiere was, however, a resounding success. Mahler noted that it had left nobody indifferent: “Every movement had its admirers and its detractors”. The programme opens with a spectacular, lively piece played by four horn soloists including the soloists from the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra and the Berlin Philharmonic.