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19.9.11

Big Bang of Alsop's Mahler 2

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See my review of the first program of the new season from the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, in today's Washington Post:

Charles T. Downey, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s ‘Resurrection’ tops the Mahler memorials
Washington Post, September 19, 2011

available at Amazon
Mahler, Symphony No. 2, C. Schäfer, M. DeYoung, Vienna Philharmonic, P. Boulez
The 100th anniversary of Gustav Mahler’s death was in May, apparently inspiring local orchestras to play the composer’s Second Symphony as many times as possible to celebrate the Mahler Year. On Saturday night at Strathmore, it was the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s turn to play the “Resurrection,” in a performance that was not without its faults but still the best of several heard this year.

Music director Marin Alsop opened her season with an interpretation that bubbled with vivacity and force but, like the previous installments of her ongoing Mahler cycle with the BSO, tended to miss the forest for the trees. Alsop’s tempo choices were often distorted, such as overly slow funeral march sections in the first movement and an overly fast third movement. This mannered approach helped neither ensemble unity nor the sense of overall line through the symphony. Most successful was the delicate second movement, an unruffled, nostalgic Landler that bordered on the shmaltzy in its evocation of a memory of the world left behind. [Continue reading]
Other Mahler 2 performances this year:
Fairfax Symphony Orchestra | World Doctors Orchestra | Washington Chorus (finale, not reviewed) | National Philharmonic

SEE ALSO:
Tim Smith, Marin Alsop, BSO open season with Mahler's epic 'Resurrection' Symphony (Baltimore Sun, September 16)

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