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P Stumpf
Member
# Posted: 7 May 2009 17:59


Carnegie Hall's big Mahler series started last night. First heard was a delicate performance of "Kindertotenlieder", sensitively sung by Thomas Quasthoff and played with delicate transparency by the orchestra under Daniel Barenboim. The performance of the Symphony #1, however, was a disappointment. Extremely fast tempi were taken throughout; the conclusion of the first movement was taken at a gallop, at the loss of considerable orchestral detail, as was the finale. The conducting throughout was, at times, dully four-square; the brass section sounded under par at times. My opinion seems to be a minority one, however, as the audience went nuts at the end, and most of the people surrounding me (row E in the balcony) were loudly enthusiastic.

William Zucker
Member
# Posted: 10 May 2009 16:08


Paul, don't quite give up on that one. I am substantially in agreement with you on your opinion. As for your objection to the fast tempi, I do usually find that a problem, but in this case, I made a distinction; the conclusion of the first movement, to which you referred, went worst of all for me. I must have gotten used to it afterward; the latter three movements didn't bother me quite as much. The timpani became a problem, both in drowning out other material at times, and in the very distracting flamboyant gestures; the brass occasionally drowned out other material as well. I do agree about Questoff, and would dearly love to hear him in a baritone version of Das Lied.

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