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FSO Takes on Mahler 2

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Mahler, Sy. 2, C. Schäfer, M. DeYoung, Vienna Philharmonic, P. Boulez

available at Amazon
T. Adorno, Mahler: A Musical Physiognomy, trans. E. Jephcott
Read my review published today in the Style section of the Washington Post:

Charles T. Downey, Fairfax Symphony Orchestra’s Mahler tribute
Washington Post, May 16, 2011
For the centenary of Gustav Mahler’s death this year, local ensembles are performing the most popular works from his monumental cycle of symphonies. On Saturday night, the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra staged a symbolic resurrection with the Austrian composer’s perennially performed Second Symphony, at the George Mason University Center for the Arts.

This was not a performance that produced revelations, more slow-burning than incendiary, but it was a respectable effort emblematic of Music Director Christopher Zimmerman’s attempts to raise the FSO to the next level. The Fairfax Choral Society and the Reston Chorale joined forces to produce the necessary wallop of vocal sound in the final movement, with a veiled, intense pianissimo at the choral entrance. All sections of the orchestra acquitted themselves honorably, some slightly unpleasant squealing from the high woodwinds aside. Zimmerman led with a foursquare approach, choosing some unusual tempos and making small adjustments to help the musicians recover from some ragged misalignments of ensemble, and not only with the many offstage contributions. [Continue reading]
Mahler, Symphony No. 2 ("Resurrection")
Fairfax Symphony Orchestra
Fairfax Choral Society and Reston Chorale
George Mason University Center for the Arts

November 2010 | January 2010

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