There's an unspoken rule in classical music that 5th symphonies are not to be taken lightly.
Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 5 is especially monumental. The piece is, for certain, a journey that one must take with a powerful orchestra. And Nashville Symphony music director Giancarlo Guerrero knows that he has those forces at hand. And that's why he says he chose Mahler 5 for this season. This behemoth of a piece was perfectly suited to the Nashville Symphony's strengths. And somehow also to this lively and cheerful maestro.
In this conversation with host Colleen Phelps, Guerrero is exuberant with passion for his work. One thing he discusses is a day in the life of a conductor. Surprisingly, the music making has to come after email answering, administrative responsibilities, and studying.
But the rehearsal itself is where the music finally gets put together. To see what that's like, here is a clip from the Nashville Symphony in February 2016, in which the orchestra prepares Rachmaninoff's Isle of the Dead.
In the full interview, the maestro discusses why it's easy to decode the musical wishes of Mahler, why he puts the repertoire away for a while before the first rehearsal, and Nashville's role in expanding the American orchestral repertoire. Be sure to download Keeping Score wherever you get your podcasts.