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Classical 101

Mahler with a Wrinkle: Introducing the Cardboard Orchestra

I tend to think of certain orchestras as "Mahler orchestras." The New York Philharmonic is one such orchestra because Gustav Mahler himself was its music director for a time, so its traditions of performing Mahler's works, in a sense, extend back to the composer himself. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra is another "Mahler orchestra," because its famed brass section seems perennially to have been designed for the flawless execution of Mahler's lip-splitting, larger-than-life orchestrations. These are just two examples. You get the idea. Recently, I came across a video of an altogether different kind of Mahler orchestra, one the composer himself never saw, much less led. And one totally without a brass section. The orchestra also has no woodwinds, and its strings have more in common with puppets than with horsehair and rosin. Yet still, it plays Mahler's music. What is this orchestra, you ask? Take a look: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6sFsGNrJVC0 What the Cardboard Orchestra lacks in technical precision it makes up for in environmental friendliness: It's recyclable.

Classical 101 Gustav Mahler
Jennifer Hambrick unites her extensive backgrounds in the arts and media and her deep roots in Columbus to bring inspiring music to central Ohio as Classical 101’s midday host. Jennifer performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago before earning a Ph.D. in musicology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.