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Thursday 15 July 2021

6:00pm at Hamer Hall

Saturday 17 July 2021

6:00pm at Hamer Hall


Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
Lawrence Renes conductor
Jacqueline Porter soprano


Mahler Symphony No.4

About this performance

Consumed by his job with the Vienna Court Opera and with little time to compose, Mahler went almost three years without writing a scrap of music. When he finally began work on his Fourth Symphony he did so in the summer months – beginning the work at a lakeside resort in Austria and finishing it in his own second home on the Wörther Lake.

  • Unlike his other symphonies, which often centre on explorations of the binaries of human existence – heaven and hell, good and bad, evil and charity – Mahler’s Fourth is tuneful and direct, exploring a charming, childlike view of the world.
  • The first three movements lead clearly toward the finale, which includes the evocatively-named folk song “Heaven is Hung with Violins,” originally written for this third symphony.
  • The visions of heaven that Mahler paints suddenly become clear as day when the soprano sings “we enjoy heavenly delights,” before imagining life in heaven. Dancing, playing, music, food (asparagus, no less!) and saints are described with playfulness and desire.

COVIDSafe information

Arts Centre Melbourne indoor venues are operating at 100% capacity so you may be seated next to other patrons. The MSO and Arts Centre Melbourne strongly recommends the wearing of masks where 1.5m distancing is difficult to achieve, however wearing a mask is no longer a requirement for entry.

Important venue information:

  • QR code registration via a mobile device is required on arrival. We encourage you to download the Service Victoria app prior to your visit to ensure a faster check-in time.
  • Hamer Hall foyer bars will be open pre-show and if there's an interval involved.
  • Personal water bottles will be permitted inside and filtered tap water will be available for self-service at the foyer bars
  • No Cloak Room
  • No Box Office sales or transactions, only available for trouble shooting or ticket collection

Orchestra safety on stage
The safety of our musicians, staff and audience remain the highest priority as we return to the post-COVID concert hall. In conjunction with the Department of Health and Human Services Victoria and Arts Centre Melbourne, the MSO has begun rapid-result, asymptomatic testing for all members of the Orchestra and on-stage production staff. As such, you may notice that our musicians are not wearing masks while performing, and that they may be spaced more closely together than previously.

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