Before Katrina, when former conductor Klauspeter Seibel conducted the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO), Gustav Mahler’s Second Symphony was programmed. I was surprised, since this symphony (nicknamed the “Resurrection
Symphony”) requires a large orchestra, a mixed choir, two soloists, an organ, and an offstage ensemble of brass and percussion—and lasts nearly 90 minutes. I figured it surely would not be programmed again, but I was wrong; you will be able to experience this massive symphony in the newly-renovated Orpheum Theater once again on September 19th (the September 17th performance is already sold out). Carlos Miguel Prieto will conduct with soloists Susannah Biller and Sasha Cooke. By the time you read this the second performance may also be sold out, but if you run into Jason Marsalis he can vocalize the entire first movement, reproducing the orchestra sounds with his voice and smacking his lips for the timpani parts. Believe me: I have witnessed this, and it’s pretty damn cool.