Sunday, November 22, 2009

What we heard ...

... last night: Eschenbach goes deep into Mahler's Seventh.

Rather than unfolding it with a predominantly linear sense of counterpoint, Mahler built the symphony in recurring heterogeneous blocks that Eschenbach treated as organic entities. When returned to, these entities had markedly different tempo and character, as if having morphed while absent. Such touches contributed to the overall musical narrative - crucial in a symphony whose five movements can seem like separate tone poems. In this performance, everything had its rightful place, even the brief mandolin and guitar solos that can be tricky to balance.
This is precisely right. Also, by last night, it had all come together better.

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