Gustav Mahler

Two musical masterworks make for great Annapolis weekend

Annapolis became a major cultural metropolis this month, thanks to the presentation of two musical masterworks — one by a major 19th-century symphony composer, the other by a major 19th-century opera composer. Both works, which premiered within 20 years of each other, focus on the meaning of life and death.

At the U.S. Naval Academy's Alumni Hall on April 19, the Distinguished Artists Series closed with the 39th annual Spring Oratorio. The presentation of Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 2 featured Aaron Smith conducting the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Naval Academy men's and women's glee clubs, the Goucher College Chorus, and soloists.

And on April 20 and 21 at Maryland...