Can Yannick hack Mahler?

From the Lebrecht Album of the Week on, MusicalToronto and OpenLettersMonthly:

Yannick Nézet-Séguin’s interpretation of Mahler’s first symphony is beautifully played by Munich’s (some say Germany’s) best orchestra and thoughtfully structured by an impressive guest conductor. I think I am safe in saying that it is conceptually different from any of the 120 Mahler Firsts on record, stretching all the way back to Dimitri Mitropolous’s towering Minnesota performance for Columbia in April 1940. And that’s no small distinction in a much-repeated piece.

So where is Yannick going with it? Read on here or here.


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  • It is indeed a deeply satisfying and un-cliched reading, magnificently played.
    By the way and in parenthesis – after the deification of Harnoncourt by SD’s cohorts in the last days, I wonder if NL will now issue a fatwa against Harnoncourt’s shade when he reads a posthumous interview on Harnoncourt’s view of Mahler in today’s Süddeutsche Zeitung!

  • YNS conducted a superb performance of Bruckner 8 ten days ago in Rotterdam. The following day, I was also lucky enough to attend another outstanding Bruckner concert, this time the Te Deum and the Ninth by Haitink and the Netherlands Radio in the Concertgebouw.

  • The more appropriate pull quote from your review:

    “This is a young man’s guide to Mahler’s First and some listeners will warm to its naivety and nature worship; the Munich musicians certainly sound like they are having a ball. But the absence of irony saps interest in the composer’s argument and the bustling speeds prove ultimately deceptive. Bruno Walter, in his seventies, got through the score five minutes faster than Yannick.”

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