Thursday, January 28, 2010


Just how much can an ageing fat man take? If the football wasn't heart stopping enough, it was knocked into insignificance by tonight. This is one of the pleasures of being back in Manchester, I was able to go to the Bridgewater Hall for the second concert in the Mahler cycle. Being the second, it was Symphony No. 2 - The Resurrection. What a performance it was, bringing out all the theatricality and drama as well as its subtlety and complexity. The applause was thunderous. You can hear a recording of the concert on BBC Radio 3 on April 12th. I am still breathless.

I find the beauty of the first movement overwhelming, it tears at you with its intensity. And then it builds to the climactic finale - a depiction of the Last Judgement, though not an orthodox one. As Mahler described it,
...there are no sinners, no just. None is great, none small. There is no punishment and no reward. An overwhelming love illuminates our being. We know and we are.

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