First Mahler 8th of the century

First Mahler 8th of the century


norman lebrecht

December 08, 2014

That’s the claim.

Mahler’s monster has not been heard in Israel since 1996 or thereabout – with the exception of a Mariinsky performance by Gergiev at his Eilat festival which doesn’t count as it was (a) unrehearsed and ((b) mostly for Russian sun-seekers.

The one I have come to hear is the fulfilment of a life’s dream for Noam Sherriff, doyen of Israeli composers and founder of the Israel Symphony Orchestra, who is about to turn 80. It  is getting three sold-out performances at the opera house in Tel Aviv.  Schools up and down the land have been raided for the choirs and an adult chorus is being flown in from Croatia.

Should be fun. And packed. Details here  (if you read Hebrew).

Why Mahler? UK paperback edition



  • Jan de Jong says:

    First time since 1996. Is that special? I wonder how high its frequency is in other countries.

    Amsterdam – with its great Mahler-tradition in the Concertgebouw – has a Mahler VIII once every 8-10 years.
    How many times Mahler VIII went in Belgium (slightly bigger than Israel) in the last decades?

  • Michael Endres says:

    ”Mahler’s Eighth Symphony with soloists, choir and orchestra of the Mariinsky Opera House, St. Petersburg under the direction of their Musical Director, Valery Gergiev, was the highlight of the recently held Red Sea Festival at the port of Eilat in February, 2009.”,7340,L-3694337,00.html

    Despite that this performance ”doesn’t count” on Slipped Disc , I still felt envious of those Russian sunseekers .

  • V.Lind says:

    Can’t be allowed to “count.” It was Gergiev and he has joined the PNG list around Slipped Disc.

  • Henrik says:

    Russian sun seekers, Gergiev, … don’t count. Have I missed something? Are they not humans?
    And nobody performs Mahler VIII unrehearsed. Who came up with that nonsense? Maybe the rehearsals were back at home and then the performance only in Israel?
    Anyway, more of the racial and “untermenschen” categorizing on Slippedisc. Not nice.

    • norman lebrecht says:

      Racial and untermenschen categorising. This comment comes from a journalist on a leading Danish newspaper. Presumably they have no defamation laws in Denmark.

      • Henrik says:

        They do, but tell us why do you have to taint the publication of a positive issue with a negative nationalistic and degrading comment? Are you a journalist and writer or a propaganda outlet? Shouldn’t you be interested in reporting the facts, rather than feasting in personal vendettas against your perceived enemies?

    • Jan de Jong says:

      “Rehearsels back at home” ?
      Is that the secret of Gergiev? He does rehaerse, only back at home. LOL

      Apart from that, the Mahler VIII at Eilat was the first Mahler VIII of the 21st Century in Israel. I don’t see the point in pretending otherwise and it doesn’t make the Sherriff concerts less special. Call it the first Israelian produced Mahler VIII of the 21st Century.

  • Michael Schaffer says:

    How often has Mehta conducted Mahler 8 in Israel? One would think that that would be exactly his thing.