When will we ever hear Mahler again?main
The abrupt cancellation of two Mahler cycles in Amsterdam and Leipzig have implications that extend way beyond Covid-19.
The Mahler festivals were due to take place in May and June 2021, when restrictions are expected to have eased and performances will be possible. But the symphonies of Mahler are among the largest in the literature, requiring 100 musicians and more.
Covid will not go away this year and distancing will have to be maintained. That makes Mahler either untenable or an uninsurable risk.
And not just in 2021. All music organisations will need to economise far into the forseeable future. Mahler may sell lots of tickets but he plays at a loss. Admnistrators are planning smaller and cheaper programmes.
Mahler risks becoming a luxury, a rarity.
When will we hear him again?