Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 2, "The Musician's Stimulus Package"
Okay, so that's not the name Mahler gave to this symphony, but he didn't call it "Resurrection," either, which is what usually shows up on concert programs, so I claim the right to my own title.
Last night was the Orlando Phil's season opening concert, consisting of but this one work. The ticket-takers thoughtfully warned us, as we entered, "Ninety minutes, no intermission!" causing an immediate run on the bathrooms.
Gustav Mahler pushed the limits of orchestral size, and it was a mite crowded on the stage of the Bob Carr Auditorium. I counted (in the program, not live) 156 musicians, including two full sets of timpani (maybe more—some percussion was off stage), eight trumpets, ten French horns, and as many strings as could fit. No wonder Mahler isn't played as much as he should be—who can afford it? Kudos to the OPO for taking on the problem of musician under-employment in this magnificent way.
This was my first hearing of this particular symphony, and I wish I had had Bob Greenberg to explain it to me. It seemed disjointed, random, and haphazard—but I know it wasn't. There's hope that it will grow on me, for I love Mahler's First, and in fact kept recognizing brief musical snatches from that symphony in this. It was finale of the First that echoed in my mind on the drive home. Mahler is so Mahler.