Heard an great Mahler Sym #9!!

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Heck148
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Heard an great Mahler Sym #9!!

Post by Heck148 » Tue May 29, 2018 8:16 am

I recently visited Chicago, and heard two fine concerts given by the CSO at Symphony Center…
The 2nd concert was an epic, outstanding performance of Mahler Sym #9, Essa-Pekka Salonen conducting… The 1st concert featured Saint-Saens Sym #3 Organ, Brahms Tragic Overture, and Schumann Violin Concerto Isabelle Faust soloist – Emmanuel Krivine conducted
I’ll address the Mahler concert first, because it was really outstanding, one of the finest concerts I’ve ever heard…this was the 3rd time I’ve heard M9 live in fairly recent years – I heard Abbado/BPO and Levine/BSO both perform it at Boston Symphony Hall...these were fine performances; Abbado’s conducting was esp outstanding. But this Salonen/CSO eclipsed both…the CSO , IME, plays wonderfully for Salonen, last year’s Le Sacre and Petrushka were the best live versions I’ve heard of these famous works. This performance of M9 certainly lived up to the standard.
Salonen had an excellent grasp of the work – he gauged perfectly the great climaxes of the first mvt, with the quiet, “re-starts” that build again to the next climax, excellent dynamic contrast throughout…his tempo for mvt II Landler was right on, this is tricky, because there are numerous tempo changes throughout the mvt, starting too fast, leaves one no place to go...same with mvt III – the tempo was plenty swift, but not crazy, and he really let fly with the accelerandi at the end….the finale was perfectly paced, wonderful climax, and sublime closing pages – so quiet – the whole CSO vlns playing as one, sans vibrato, ultra soft….really superbly done…Salonen held the stillness for at least 45”, before the audience exploded with applause…curtain calls went on and on, the audience was blown away.
There were so many highlights, and great orchestral performances – Horn I [D. Gingrich], Trumpet I [M. Ridenour] were absolutely superb [both “Associate principals”] on their challenging parts…all the principals acquitted themselves marvelously, as did the sections…the clarity was amazing, all parts audible, even in the loud climaxes – great writing, great playing, great attention to balance, and fine acoustics of the hall??....sustained notes carried from one instrument to another were flawlessly executed – a long-held trumpet note simply disappearing into the same note taken up by the flutes…horns succeeding the clarinets seamlessly, the timbre slowly, subtly changing as the new instruments took over…this is great orchestral work.
This performance reminded much of Giulini’s great CSO recording, perhaps paced a tad quicker, but very close, a good thing….and of course, this was live – so the superb balance of the orchestra was most telling and stunning in its clarity. Great effort by conductor and orchestra. :)
John von Rhein gave the concert a good review in Chicago Tribune: http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertain ... story.html

maestrob
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Re: Heard an great Mahler Sym #9!!

Post by maestrob » Tue May 29, 2018 9:11 am

Thanks, Heck!

I have loved Mahler IX since I was a young teenager, when I got Bruno Walter's stereo recording from the Columbia Record Club. Walter had by then trained the Columbia Symphony to within an inch of its life, and that recording remains very special to me. Others include Solti/London and Bernstein's Vienna DVD from the 1970's. I'm glad Salonen is getting his tempi just right: the work demands that.

Heck148
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Re: Heard an great Mahler Sym #9!!

Post by Heck148 » Tue May 29, 2018 7:48 pm

maestrob wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 9:11 am
I have loved Mahler IX since I was a young teenager, when I got Bruno Walter's stereo recording from the Columbia Record Club. Walter had by then trained the Columbia Symphony to within an inch of its life, and that recording remains very special to me. Others include Solti/London and Bernstein's Vienna DVD from the 1970's. I'm glad Salonen is getting his tempi just right: the work demands that.
Yup, the Walter/ColSO still ranks way up there for me too...Salonen definitely has it down...very well paced, great orchestra balance, superb dynamic range....I wish they'd record it for release!! The clarity of the playing was amazing - everything audible, even in the loud parts...I've always thought that M9 was one of the best orchestrated works in all the repertoire....and Salonen/CSO definitely confirmed that...CSO sounds great, yet they are still looking to fill key principal positions - Ob I, Horn I, Tpt I...the associates are very outstanding, however, and they could easily hold down any major orchestra post with great distinction.

THEHORN
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Re: Heard an great Mahler Sym #9!!

Post by THEHORN » Fri Jun 08, 2018 3:44 pm

Daniel Gingrich is actually the acting principal horn of the CSO , and because principal when the legendary Dale Clevenger retired a few years ago . He used to be associate principal . Apparently, the orchestra has no intention of holding auditions for another principal horn .
Muti is somewhat notorious for not hiring anyone at auditions when an opening occurs ,not finding anyone he likes enough . This happened a number of times when he was music director in Philadelphia .

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Re: Heard an great Mahler Sym #9!!

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Jun 08, 2018 6:11 pm


There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

RebLem
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Re: Heard an great Mahler Sym #9!!

Post by RebLem » Fri Jun 08, 2018 7:12 pm

My favorite Mahler 9 is the 1938 Bruno Walter Wiener Phil recording. Another favorite is the Karel Ancerl Czech Phil. recording.
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Heck148
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Re: Heard an great Mahler Sym #9!!

Post by Heck148 » Sun Jun 10, 2018 6:40 pm

THEHORN wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 3:44 pm
Daniel Gingrich is actually the acting principal horn of the CSO , and because principal when the legendary Dale Clevenger retired a few years ago .
Yes, Daniel is listed as "acting principal", which implies a certain temporary status...
The previous concert series - which included Saint-Saens Sym #3, featured a different principal hornist....an older gentleman I did not recognize....TMK, he was not one of the CSO section members, subbing on Horn I...this makes me think he was perhaps a candidate for the principal chair, who had been offered a concert series to have a tryout...in any case, he wasn't bad, but he was simply not strong enough, his sound was not big enough to carry over the section....I'm virtually positive he wouldn't get the position - in recent years, other hornists have played a concert series - Gus Sebring/BSO, Nicole Cash/SFSO

Gingrich sounded fabulous on the Mahler, and he was outstanding last year on Le Sacre, and Petrushka...so it would make sense to give him the full-time principal position - but orchestras are notorious for not doing that...

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