Yannick Nézet-Séguin Conductor
Joshua Hopkins Baritone
Heggie Songs for Murdered Sisters
Mahler Symphony No. 9
Stricken by the death of his oldest daughter at the age of four and reeling from a diagnosis of a serious heart condition, Mahler retreated to a cabin in the mountains to write what would become his final works, among them the shattering Ninth Symphony. From its tenderly beautiful, hushed opening of harp, horns, and strings through the fevered Rondo to its gossamer finish, the Ninth is literally and figuratively a cry from a wounded heart—and a profound experience for the listener.
The program begins with a remarkable work: After the murder of his sister in 2015, acclaimed Canadian baritone Joshua Hopkins made it his purpose to expose and alleviate the global epidemic of violence against women. His work inspired the great Canadian author Margaret Atwood to write Songs for Murdered Sisters, a collection of poems that American composer Jake Heggie then set to music. In this song cycle, a grief-stricken wanderer seeks meaning within a landscape of love, loss, grief, anger, and redemption.