Mahler’s Symphony Number 2 was utterly wonderful. There just aren’t enough superlatives to describe how wonderful the whole things was.
Birmingham Symphony Hall is acoustically perfect. You can hear a pin drop on stage from any seat in the theatre and the CBSO sounded magnificent. The person dropping their keys on the floor from across the hall was quite audible too, though thankfully there wasn’t much noise going on from the audience to spoil the performance at all. There were several points where I had a massive grin on my face and I was close to tears during the finalé.
It was close to perfection. I found a couple of the conductors tempos to be a bit strange, especially during some of the louder passages. He seemed to take off like a train, but these were only minor points and the overall picture he painted of the masterpiece was truly remarkable. The 90 minute symphony simply flew past.
Luckily for those that weren’t at the concert BBC Radio 3 were there to record it and you can listen to the whole thing on 21st March at 19:30. Tune in and learn what genius sounds like.
It wasn’t just Mahler last night. There was a really entertaining performance of a Thea Musgrave piece called Concerto for Orchestra which involved the clarinet starting a musical revolt against the conductor. It was a bit bizarre but I loved it. She was even there to enjoy the performance herself.
I shall be keeping an eye out for when the CBSO are going to be performing more Mahler. I will most definately be back.