Monday, November 19, 2012

Mahler's Ninth with the Philharmonia Orchestra

(photo: Richard Haughton)

Due to a busy work schedule I haven't been able to blog about concerts lately but I just had to post about the Philharmonia Orchestra's incredible rendition of Mahler's Symphony No. 9 at Avery Fisher Hall last night.

All I can say is WOW. Mahler's Ninth, composed in 1910, is in my opinion one of the highlights of symphonic literature but it is the rare interpretation that can move this sprawling 90 minute score at a good pace and still leave the listener emotionally wrecked by the end.

The conductor, Esa-Pekka Salonen, did just that. He conducted the esteemed ensemble with glistening precision but not at the expense deeply felt emotion. The final movement in particular was just ravishing with otherworldly strings and slowly dissolving tempi. It felt like Mahler's farewell to romanticism and everything else that he loved in life.

The program, unfortunately, won't be repeated but New Yorkers will have a chance to hear this work again next spring with Michael Tilson Thomas leading the San Francisco Symphony at Carnegie Hall.

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