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8.11.09

BSO's Stellar Mahler, with Mozart Comfort Food

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Read my review today on the Washington Post Web site:

Charles T. Downey, BSO goes pretty with cozy standards
Washington Post, November 8, 2009


Susanna Phillips, soprano (photo by Ken Howard)
If anything, the program offered by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra on Friday night at Meyerhoff Hall was too pretty, too easy on the ears. Continuing an unofficial traversal of Gustav Mahler's symphonies, music director Marin Alsop gave up on last season's unsuccessful pairing of Mahler's music with that of Leonard Bernstein. Instead the concert matched Mahler's most radiant, least neurotic symphony, the fourth, with some cozy Mozart.

Susanna Phillips's pellucid soprano voice, heard in an excellent recital earlier in the week, seemed optimally suited to Mahler's last movement. The poem it sets, "Das himmlische Leben" from the "Des Knaben Wunderhorn" collection, is a childlike description of a heaven where, on fast days, the fish swim up to offer themselves as food for the blessed. Indeed, Phillips sang the solo with gorgeous, well-supported clarity, a shining, simple but not colorless sound, limpid and calm on the mysterious chords of "Sankt Peter im Himmel sieht zu," which return as a refrain. [Continue reading]
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Mahler, Symphony No. 4
With Susanna Phillips, soprano
Also Mozart, Eine kleine Nachtmusik and three concert arias

SVILUPPO:
See also Tim Smith, The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra with Mozart, Mahler and Marin (Baltimore Sun, November 9)

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