BSO - Mahler Sym #6

Have you been to a concert somewhere in the world recently? Share your thoughts with us about the performance, the more details the better!

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Heck148
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BSO - Mahler Sym #6

Post by Heck148 » Thu Apr 02, 2015 10:21 pm

Last Saturday I attended a concert at Boston Symphony Hal - featuring the BSO - Andris Nelsons conducting:

GANDOLFI Ascending Light, for organ and orchestra
(world premiere; BSO commission)
MAHLER Symphony No. 6
This was a fine concert - with the BSO sounding very good, a very well-played and conducted performance of Mahler Sym #6...It was the first time I've heard Nelsons conduct the BSO - and the result was very impressive..

Nelsons offered a very strong reading of the Mahler, lots of judicious tempo changes, which the orchestra followed very alertly - obviously well-prepared, and rehearsed. orchestra ensemble ws excellent throughout...a very powerful performance with plenty of dynamic contrasts, and plenty of oomph at the many big climaxes...[2 not 3 hammer shots, for those who count them :)]
the brass section was esp good - 9 horns navigated the big Mahler score with skill and accuracy...minor ensemble issues were quite insignificant. The trumpets were excellent - esp the principal [Thomas Rolfes], who sounded terrific on his many solos, and many high entrances...the extra trumpets had to wait a long time for their moments in the finale - but they made good, playing with lots of bravura and enthusiasm...the low brass was outstanding throughout - esp the tuba [Mike Roylance] which has many solos and important lines...I'm happy to say that many of the nagging problems of section balance, esp in the brass, were noticeably absent in Saturday's performance...
The strings always sound good in Boston - fine solo work by principal chairs, and stands - and excellent section sound, esp when the tessitura is high and exposed...plenty of heft from the celli and basses.
Woodwinds were fine overall - I guess if I had a bone to pick, it would be here - I prefer a bit more sound from the woodwind principals, esp in solo passages - at times the solo Oboe and bassoon [Ferillo/Swoboda] could have projected more - but the section sounded good as a whole and there were many highlights throughout the performance.
The concert opened with an organ concerto by Gandolfi, a Boston-based composer...this was quite enjoyable if not cosmic....very tonal, all told, had some big sonorities, and some delicate rapid sections in contrast...it provided a good opener, 3 mvts, not too long, it made a good prelude for the Mahler...

overall - excellent concert - really first-rate Mahler, well conducted, and beautifully and powerfully played by the BSO. A year or so ago, I heard the BSO perform Mahler #3, with Dan. Gatti conducting - this Mahler 6 was better in every regard - better conducting, better playing...I hope this is a harbinger of more excellent things to come - the BSO took a big step forward when Levine took the helm...things were kind of on hold when he stepped down, and guest conductors took over - some very fine concerts - Oramo/Prokofieff Sym #6, and some not so hot - Brandenburg Cto 1, LvB Sym #4. Nelsons seems to be clicking very well - and the orchestra is responding most splendidly. Nelsons is quite demonstrative on the podium, but his gestures and motions are not extravagant, distracting or superfluous. The orchestra ensemble was very good throughout..

John F
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Re: BSO - Mahler Sym #6

Post by John F » Fri Apr 03, 2015 5:17 am

DG has signed the BSO and Nelsons for a big Shostakovich project. In addition to Symphonies 5-10, the project will also include performances and recordings of the incidental music from King Learand Hamlet and the Passacaglia from Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk. The recordings of these works will take place at Symphony Hall—one of the world’s most renowned halls for acoustical excellence—during performances scheduled in the BSO’s 2014-15, 2015-16, and 2016-17 seasons.
John Francis

Heck148
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Re: BSO - Mahler Sym #6

Post by Heck148 » Fri Apr 03, 2015 8:44 am

John F wrote:DG has signed the BSO and Nelsons for a big Shostakovich project. In addition to Symphonies 5-10, the project will also include performances and recordings of the incidental music from King Learand Hamlet and the Passacaglia from Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk. The recordings of these works will take place at Symphony Hall—one of the world’s most renowned halls for acoustical excellence—during performances scheduled in the BSO’s 2014-15, 2015-16, and 2016-17 seasons.
This is good - I heard them perform Sym #4 a couple of years ago - very good...

jbuck919
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Re: BSO - Mahler Sym #6

Post by jbuck919 » Mon Jun 08, 2015 6:35 pm

Every fall I visit my friend in Hingham, MA and we take in the symphony. Mahler's Second under James Levine was a previous highlight. I hope I come back from this year's as-yet-undetermined program with something equally nifty to post.

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

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