Last Thursday, I performed Mahler’s 7th Symphony with the Oxford University Orchestra (OUO). It is an absolute monster of piece at over an hour and twenty minutes long! But that is what you get with Mahler. His 6th Symphony is an hour and a half!
This piece throws up quite a few challenges as the tempo sometimes changes every other bar, meaning that you had to be alert for a long time. I struggle to concentrate for 20 minutes when writing an essay, let alone an hour and twenty. We had loads of rehearsals, so that by the concert we all knew what to expect with it. There were also some funny moments, especially those involving cow bells. No seriously, Mahler loved cow bells. They were both on stage and off stage, as well as a massive moment right at the end of the symphony.
The concert went really well and it was great to play in the Sheldonian Theatre with a big audience. Afterwards, I did feel like my face was going to fall off (it is a burden all oboists must bear after a massive piece), but it was totally worth it. I love orchestral playing and I loved playing with a group of fantastic musicians. So for this term, that is one concert down, two to go. Next up, Stravinsky Concerto for Piano and Winds with the wind orchestra!