dimanche 29 novembre 2009
Quality versus Quantity
If you look at this year Salzbourg Festival program, you will notice an unusual program in the "Guest Orchestra" serie: The World Orchestra for Peace under Gergiev. The surprise is not in the name of the orchestra not its choice as a conductor ... It is in the programme: Mahler 4th Symphony in the first part and Mahler 5th in the second one.
It reflects the fact that on the one hand the technical challenges posed by Mahler's works are no longer a threat to orchestras. I remember when I was "younger" ... and Barenboim only played the 5th with the Orchestre de Paris as the only work in the evening. This was felt as normal and the musicians were definitely streched. But on the other hand, can musicians and audience take this much music. In 1999, Abbado came to Paris with the Berliner to play Mahler 3rd and prefaced it with "im Doppelete Tiefe", a Rite of Spring - like work by Rhim which let audience and musicians tired. Even the Berliners were exhausted at the end of Mahler's colossal 30 mn First mouvement.
Has not Mahler's music became too familar ? It is classic Gergiev to pack so much music but is not this simply too much ?