Maaaaahler!

Mahler!

Eep! My ticket’s for the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s production of Mahler’s epic Symphony of a Thousand Voices (or Symphony of a Thousand! as the ticket exclaims) have arrived. I’m so excited…

… To buy a new dress.

Me and Mahler have had a rocky relationship. It all began in 2001, when my roommate (a huge Mahler fan) brought home Ken Russell’s Mahler film biopic to watch. Having nothing better to do than memorize German verbs, I decided to watch with her.

What followed, was this:

Warning: Seriously bizarre and disturbing cinema staring Wagner’s daughter as a dominatrix and Mahler nailed to a cross because… I have no idea. Apparently, this is ART.

After an excruciating 115 minutes of waiting for Mahler to die, I decided that whatever relationship I had with Mahler was over before it began. When my roommate rapturously described his Third Symphony, I heard the Sugarplum Fairy theme music. When she pressed the Leonard Berstein recording of the 2nd “Whinging” Symphony, I buried it under a pile of clothing.

For years, we were happily estranged.

Until 2009, when as a Christmas gift and great person sacrifice, I attended the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s rendition of Mahler’s Sixth Symphony or Are You Seriously Going to Have a Large Mallet in the Orchestra? Just Because You Put in the Hands of a Musician, Does Not Make It a Musical Instrument, Mahler! Symphony as I like to call it.

And I may not ever say this again, but there was too much cowbell. Cowbell at the start of the symphony! Cowbell at the end! Cowbell everywhere! By the end of the Symphony, I was cowbelled-out for the rest of the year.

And yet here we are again. VSO is performing the Symphony of a Thousand Voices as part of the Cultural Olympiad. I figure that it’s my patriotic duty to attend this symphony despite the fact that there aren’t actually a thousand voices.

And, for the athletes, I will enjoy it.

… As long as there is no cowbell.

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