Performance Wednesday, April 5, 2017 | 8 PM

Munich Philharmonic

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Schubert anointed his Fourth Symphony “Tragic,” but this might be the affectation of a young Romantic, since the work owes much to the Classical symphonies of Haydn and Mozart—a fact also reflected in its Classical era–styled orchestration. There’s nothing tragic about Mahler’s Fourth Symphony, where a sense of magic inhabits a radiant work that opens with the earthy sound of ringing sleigh bells and ascends with a child’s song extolling the joys of heaven. There’s also Debussy’s revolutionary Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune, the dreamy, subtly colored masterpiece that heralded a new age of music.


  • Munich Philharmonic
    Valery Gergiev, Music Director and Conductor
  • Genia Kühmeier, Soprano


  • DEBUSSY Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune
  • SCHUBERT Symphony No. 4, "Tragic"
  • MAHLER Symphony No. 4

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately two and one-half hours, including one 20-minute intermission.

At a Glance

The three works on this program have a distinctive subtlety and delicacy. Two—Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune and Schubert’s Fourth Symphony—come near the beginning of their respective composer’s career. Debussy’s work has a magical atmosphere, “spellbinding and mysterious,” in the words of Pierre Boulez. Its freedom of form and ambiguous harmony make it a landmark in the history of music. The Schubert symphony, written when the composer was only 19, has dashes of Haydn and Beethoven, but also one of Schubert's most heavenly slow movements. The entirety of Mahler’s Fourth Symphony, eschewing his usual grandeur and explosiveness, has an idyllic quality—especially in the finale, where the soprano evokes a child’s vision of heaven.
Program Notes
This performance is part of International Festival of Orchestras II.

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