Bard Summerscape 2014
Classical Music, Opera, Theatre, Photography, Art, Books, Travel, Food & Drink – the Best of the Arts in the Berkshires

Tag Archive for ‘Gustav Mahler’

Mariss Janssons conducts the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Photo Chris Christodoulou.

Mariss Jansons leads the Concertgebouw Orchestra with Janine Jansen at Carnegie Hall in Sibelius, Rachmaninoff, and Mahler

As a conductor, Mariss Jansons is not only versatile, but able to show different characters, depending on his purposes. In each of the three late romantic works in the two concerts he had a clear idea of how he wanted to apply the best qualities of his orchestra. None of these pieces, no matter how much they may be admired, are especially esteemed for their economy and structural clarity, but in each case, Jansons found a true, organic solution to the composer’s aims.

Des Knabens Wunderhorn, ed. 1874, frontispiece

Renée Fleming, James Levine, and the Boston Symphony in Berg, Richard Strauss, and Mahler

Before getting into the program in detail, it’s worth noting that here again the BSO and New York Philharmonic programs overlap. While Levine in the Berg Three Pieces is returning to repertoire with which he has been closely associated for many years—music inspired by the composer of the main work, Gustav Mahler—Gilbert approached the same work as part of his ongoing exploration of the Second Vienna School, which has enriched his programming throughout the year, and, I’m sure, will continue throughout his career.

Conductor, Lecturer and Author, Benjamin Zander

Mahler and Inspiration: Benjamin Zander at Albany’s Palace Theater

Mr. Zander, who leads the Boston Philharmonic, has leveraged his considerable communication and educational skills into creating something beyond the mere making of music.

Pierre Boulez

Music in a Time of Disaster…The Vienna Philharmonic conducted by Pierre Boulez, Carnegie Hall, January 16, 2010

To hear a program of music by Mahler and the members of the Second Viennese School (Schoenberg, Webern) five days after the earthquake in Haiti is to experience questions about the role that the arts, and music in particular, plays in our lives. Burke and Kant recognized two categories of artistic experience, the beautiful and the sublime, one characterized by orderliness, balance, and grace, the other by overwhelming power. Beauty is associated with the works of humans, and the sublime with the acts of nature (and/or God, depending on your persuasion). Both pieces on the second half of the Vienna Philharmonic’s program (Webern and Mahler) contained climactic moments that can only be described as devastating, as close as art can get to imparting the experience of disastrous loss. As we read the papers about the destruction of a country, we struggle to find the connection between our own lives and the unimaginable suffering and trauma being experienced by our neighbors and fellow humans. Music can help.