In view of recent government announcements regarding indoor mass events, Mahler’s Sixth has been cancelled.
People in Valletta on Saturday morning were treated to an unusual sight. A musician dressed in full concert-attire was spotted strolling along Republic Street carrying a giant hammer.
The hammer is one of the highlights of Mahler’s Sixth Symphony, to be premiered in Malta on Saturday 14th March by the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra at the Mediterranean Conference Centre. Built purposely for the symphony, the instrument will add to the palette of sounds to be produced by MPO’s Principal Percussionist, Daniel Cauchi.
Mahler asked for an instrument “brief and mighty, but dull in resonance and with a non-metallic character (like the fall of an axe)”. Originally scoring three blows, the composer revised the blows to two due to his superstition beliefs. Yet, such did not spare him from events which ensued after completing the work – the death of his eldest daughter, his forced resignation from the Vienna Opera and the diagnosis of an eventually fatal heart condition.
Mahler’s Sixth will be performed by the MPO, in collaboration with the Mediterranean Conference Centre and the Valletta Cultural Agency, on Saturday 14th March 2020 at the Mediterranean Conference Centre in Valletta.
Tickets may be purchased online through www.showshappening.com or from the MCC’s box office. Patrons may benefit from a free shuttle service leaving from the Phoenicia Hotel.