Mahler's Song of the Earth

ACO Musicians on the power of Mahler

Our musicians speak to the monumental power and unforgettable existentialism of the music of Gustav Mahler.

The Austrian composer Gustav Mahler said, “Melodic invention is one of the surest signs of a divine gift.” 

His music contains some of the most memorable melodies, richest harmonies and most sweepingly epic orchestra passages in all 20th-century symphonic writing. There's a transcendent, existential quality to his ability to organise sound, something that resonates with performers and audiences alike. 

Ahead of the Australian Chamber Orchestra's tour of Mahler's symphonic song cycle, The Song of the Earth, ACO musicians reflect on what Mahler's music means to them.

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A still of Richard Tognetti performing Beethoven's Violin Concerto

Richard Tognetti, Artistic Director

“The main thing about Mahler is the perfume. It’s music that leaves strange scents in the air. They linger - oddly and becomingly. It’s a foreign world that Mahler invites us into; and makes us feel at home.”
Satu Vanska

Satu Vänskä, ACO Principal Violin

“It’s a special occasion for us to play this monumental, epic piece by Mahler. I love getting lost in the spell of the fantasy and the profoundness of the music; 60 minutes of magic.”
Maja Savnik

Maja Savnik, ACO Violin

“Mahler's music comes from a dark but beautiful place that aspires to create eternal perfection.”
Stefanie Farrands

Stefanie Farrands, ACO Principal Viola

“Mahler’s music makes me feel connected to the essence of the human experience. His music transcends space and time and makes me feel like I’m part of something far greater than my own self.”

Stuart Skelton and Catherine Carby star in Mahler's Song of the Earth, directed by Richard Tognetti, touring to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra. Click here for tickets.