Lucerne Festival Orchestra
Gustav Mahler is inescapable in this, the 150th anniversary of his birth.
Next year is the anniversary of his death and more Mahler to come. I doubt if either year will produce a performance like the one Classicalify heard recently with Abbado and his hand-picked festival orchestra. The first movement is notable for crises. Abbado mantained a steady stream in the great build-ups and expertly avoided losing momentum. The second movement was held within a regular pulse and with fierce accents. Producing sophisticated and coarse sounds.
In the third Abbado highlighted the contrast between earthly parody and the glimpses of heaven provided by the solo trumpet, and brought the movement to thrilling conclusion.
The last movement was played with richness and transparancy. The lush passages was filled with a powerfull brass-section. As the violins slowly winded down towards the end I had tears running down my face and could hear my own heartbeats. As the final note was whispered with such feeling and tendernes there was a silence in the audience I have never experienced before.
It was total silence for three minutes and then the applause started. It was twenty minutes of standing ovation. An amazing evening.