thu 13/05/2021

Mahler

Das Lied von der Erde, Kožená, Staples, LSO, Rattle, Barbican online review - more joy than sorrow

The drunkard in spring; the lonely man in autumn; the long goodbye. Mahler’s last song-cycle often seems to embody solitude; a resigned, earthly counterpart to the transcendent rapture of his previous work, the Eighth Symphony, as a superstitious...

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Classical CDs: Big symphonies, archlutes and the healing power of the viola

 Bach: The English Suites Paolo Zanzu (harpsichord) (Musica Ficta)I’m a recent convert to Bach keyboard music played on harpsichord, having recently immersed myself in the Erato box set containing Zuzana Růžičková’s Bach recordings made in the...

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Budapest Festival Orchestra, Fischer online review - Mahler movements for the fish

In verses from the folk anthology Des Knaben Wunderhorn (The Youth's Magic Horn) set by Mahler as a song, later adapted for the scherzo of his Second Symphony, St Anthony of Padua sermonizes on repentance to the fish, who all listen politely and...

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Mofidian, Britten Sinfonia, Elder, Saffron Hall review - meditations and mirth

How strange to experience Saffron Walden’s amazingly high-standard new(ish) concert hall without the usual auditorium – in other words no tiered rows other than in the balcony, but seats around tables, on a level with the musicians (pictured below,...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Mahler, Shostakovich, Chris Watson and Georgia Rodgers

 Mahler: Symphony No. 7 Orchestre National de Lille/Alexandre Bloch (Alpha Classics)Mahler 5’s five movements trace a lucid journey from darkness to light, and No. 6’s tautly-structured outer movements don’t contain a wasted note. Whereas...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Mahler, Vaughan Williams, Sandbox Percussion

 Mahler: Symphony No. 4 Turku Philharmonic Orchestra/Leif Segerstam, with Essi Luttinen (mezzo-soprano) (Alba)Leif Segerstam can be a maddeningly inconsistent conductor, a musician whose recordings can frustrate as much as they inspire. He’s...

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The Telephone, Scottish Opera/Cargill, RSNO, Søndergård, Edinburgh International Festival online - human emotions in digital form

Lockdown, perhaps more than any other time, has amplified how modern technology can be both a blessing and a curse. Of course, it’s wonderful to have the means to connect with friends and family scattered across the globe; carry on working, learning...

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Luis Sagasti: A Musical Offering review – the sounds of silence

Luis Sagasti attends closely to the silence that precedes, pauses, and follows music in this mesmeric collage of stories inspired by the sounds that humans – and animals, and stars – create. Like many authors before him, the Argentinian novelist and...

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Live from Covent Garden 2, Royal Opera and Ballet online review - heaven and earth in a nutshell

Solitude, mortality and transcendence have never been more profoundly expressed in music than by Mahler, who composed Das Lied von der Erde (The Song of the Earth) in the valley of the shadow of death (too superstitious to give it the name of Ninth...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Beethoven, Mahler, Strauss

 Beethoven Symphonies 1-3 – arrangements by Ries & Ebers Compagnia di Punto (Deutsche Harmonia Mundi)Just Beethoven’s first three symphonies in this two-disc set, so you wonder whether he’d still be described as a genius had he stopped...

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Classical Music/Opera direct to home 9 - musicians start cautiously reuniting

It seems like a different world when the Berlin Philharmonic and Simon Rattle gave a full concert to an empty hall as the world began to go into lockdown. Now, on continental Europe at least, orchestral musician plus the occasional star conductor...

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Mahler's 'Resurrection' Symphony, Philharmonia, Hrůša, RFH review - big picture, stunning details

So many performances of Mahler's most theatrical symphony every season, so few conductors who have something radically fresh to say about it. Two who do are London Philharmonic Orchestra chief Vladimir Jurowski, perfecting his vision over the years...

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