Baltimore Symphony Orchestra musicians perform the final moments of Mahler’s Third Symphony virtually while secluded at home.
The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra has released a new video of its musicians virtually performing a piece of music that’s meant to comfort and reassure audiences whose lives have been upended by the coronavirus pandemic.
The eight-minute piece consists of the powerful ending of “What Love Tells Me,” the final movement of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 3.
The orchestra had been rehearsing the symphony with music director Marin Alsop for concerts that were to have been performed March 12-14 for live audiences at the group’s two concert halls in Baltimore and North Bethesda. The concerts were canceled as concerns about the coronavirus intensified.
”The musicians were disappointed that we were unable to perform the work and decided to create a virtual performance,” Aubrey Foard, the principal tuba player, said in a BSO news release. ”We thought Mahler’s glorious and life-affirming coda from this symphony would help everyone feel a little better.”
This is how the video was created, according to the news release:
Each musician peformed his or her part at home. Violinist Colin Sorgi created a “click track” or a series of audio cues used to synchronize sound recordings, a technique that allows the coda to move with tempo changes as it would during a live performance. The musicians made a video and audio recording of themselves playing along to the click track and sent it to Sorgi, who compiled all of the pieces into a single video. (Other online content can be found at BSO OffStage.)
The recording isn’t intended to be a polished performance. Instead, it’s an attempt to reach an audience isolated by social distancing measures and to offer them solace.