Monday, January 09, 2012
some quick thoughts on Saturday night's concert
What struck me about Saturday night's New York Philharmonic performance of Mahler's Ninth Symphony were the woodwinds. This symphony is a feast for the wind section and the Philharmonic's players (with extra flutes, oboes, clarinets, and bassoons) made a strong impression, especially in the second and third movements. The double fugue in the third movement really stood out, as the entire orchestra plowed through Mahler's intricate counterpoint. The last movement, with its lush, full string chords, reminded me of the finale of his Third Symphony, but this time the melodies were more elegiac than romantic. Alan Gilbert and the Philharmonic received several well-deserved ovations, pointing out once again that New York loves Mahler (and, I hope, Gilbert's interpretations of Mahler).