Mahler’s second symphony, “Resurrection” is one of the most epic and moving pieces ever written for orchestra. It is an hour and a half long, is very complex and difficult to play, and requires a huge orchestra and choir. The UBC Symphony Orchestra and Choirs played it, twice, this past Friday and Saturday and I was lucky enough to be seated on stage playing the second harp part.
It is difficult for me to articulate how wonderful it was to be able to play Mahler 2; the music is so beautiful and interesting and the harps can actually be heard and when the choir sang, I got shivers, every time.
It’s not a piece that is performed often, even by professional orchestras, so the fact that we did it here at UBC is not only a milestone for the school, but a privilege that I have been able to play it as part of my university career.
Saturday night was a little bit emotional for me; for all I know, it could be the last time I play in an orchestra; it will probably be the last time I play with my friend Vivian, who has been my harpist friend since first year when we both entered the program; and what a symphony to be the last I would play at UBC! What a symphony to accompany my graduation.
I am sentimental now that I am leaving UBC, and although there is a little sadness, I am once again filled with the awe that I felt when I first toured UBC and first began taking classes. I actually went here. It was mine. It still is, for a little longer. I am a student at one of the best universities in the world. I have been awarded amazing opportunities such as travelling to Belgium and playing Mahler. I have also formed meaningful and lasting relationships with my professors and peers that I am sure will last going forward. I have also grown tremendously, academically, musically, and personally.
It is mine.
One Response to Mahler 2
I was at the concert, and even convinced some friends to come too… while I confess to my attention becoming somewhat hazy during the middle, the climax was absolutely magnificent – I recall feeling like I was imagining things when the organ came on at long last. Not to mention that the harp playing was ethereal…I agree that it was great on Mahler’s part to give them notable parts; and most gossamer parts they were!
I may still be at UBC for the forseeable future – but graduation is nonetheless on the march, inching towards me day by day. Is it possible to be simultaneously sentimental, yet anxious for a time yet to come?