Thursday, April 2, 2009

Aufersteh'n, ja aufersteh'n!

The concerts keep coming... Tuesday we went to see Mahler's Symphony No. 2 at Teatro Comunale with Zubin Mehta conducting. If you haven't heard this piece, do yourself a favor and get a good recording (I have the Gilbert Kaplan with the Vienna Philharmonic, but I've heard very good things about the Leonard Bernstein with the New York Philharmonic as well), and cuddle up in front of your stereo for some 90 minutes. Maybe you should tell the neighbors, because this thing gets loud! (While we're promoting things, if you're at all interested in "classical" music from Mahler up until today, or if you're wondering why you should be, get a copy of Alex Ross' The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century)
In any case, hearing the symphony live is of course an experience all by itself, considering the forces required. There were some intonation issues at times (not surprising when you have 10 horn players...), and the pacing was sometimes a little shaky, but these are minor grievances. I was a little disappointed in the alto solo by Marjana Lipovšek in the 4th movement (Urlicht), who sang this beautiful song a little too plainly for my tastes. Kudos to the choir, who delivered an excellent performance, especially in the hushed passages when they first came in (and to the audience for not coughing too much at this special moment). We're now looking forward to seeing the orchestra again in the production of Götterdämmerung in May as part of the Maggio Musicale festival.

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