Not all that long ago, the symphonies of Gustav Mahler were considered impossibly long, tumultuous, and neurotic; now they are audience favorites, right up there with the symphonies of Beethoven and Brahms. That said, Mahler has not been in the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra's repertoire all that much in recent years. Perhaps that is changing: for his next concert, RPO Music Director Ward Stare leads Mahler's Fifth Symphony, which is indeed long, tumultuous, and neurotic — but it also winds up with an irresistible, triumphant finale. It also contains an ethereal adagietto for strings and harp that is one of Mahler's most famous compositions, and one of the most beautiful slow movements of any symphony.
Stare's program balances the Fifth Symphony with a recent work by another well-known composer-conductor, Leonard Slatkin. "Kinah" premiered in 2015, and is Slatkin's centennial tribute to his father, the violinist and conductor Felix Slatkin, and his mother, Eleanor Aller, who were both members of the legendary 1950's chamber-music group, the Hollywood String Quartet. For a review of this RPO performance, check back on Friday, April 21.
The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra will perform Thursday, April 20, and Saturday, April 22, at Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre, 60 Gibbs Street. 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, and 8 p.m. on Saturday. $23-$99. 454-2100; rpo.org.