Friday, April 30, 2010

Symphony No.3 by Mahler: Daniele Gatti at the Théâtre du Châtelet

Last night at  the Théâtre du Châtelet I attended the 4th in the series of concerts spread over the period of 2 years with the Orchestre National de France lead by its musical director Daniele Gatti performing the full opus of Mahler's Symphonies.

And so it was the night of the Symphony No.3. This orchestra is definitely improving and in spite of a few tiny glitches they sounded great last night. Gatti is really a major asset to this orchestra and it was a very clever idea to offer him the job.

Besides two choruses --Maîtrise de Radio France (children) and Choeur de Radio France (women)--in charge for the singing part was Christianne Stotijn. I was glad to finally listen to her singing wonderfully. Several of her previous appearances were frustrating to me: I'd expect the top notch mezzo, and was getting a staccato waves of short high notes and inaudible gravis. Yesterday she was simply magnificent.

With more than 200 musicians on the stage, and in the packed theater [even the staircases were full!] it is more than impressive to listen to the Mahler's 3rd in Châtelet. The first movement was good, but better stuff was coming after. The concert was getting better as the evening progressed, to culminate with "Was mir die Liebe erzählt" ["What love tells me"], the 6th movement which sounded very peculiar in the auditorium of Châtelet. You have a feeling as if the music was streams through your body. If you forget about Tristan und Isolde for a little while, it is difficult --if at all possible?!-- to find such a perfect musical image of love.

I don't want to exaggerate with my praise for Daniele Gatti's conducting, but except for Mariss Jansons, I think he's da-man today for this particular Symphony.

Wonderful musical night!

France Musique Radio provided a live broadcast of the concert and it is available for free listening on this URL . If you want to jump to the 6th movement, it starts at 01:29:20 and  goes on for about 24 min. Enjoy :)

Christianne Stotijn at her best last night, with Maestro Gatti on her left. On her right are the chorus directors: Sofi Jeannin and Robert Blank 

Christianne Stotijn and Sofi Jeannin

Daniele Gatti

Outside shot of the front chunk of the Théâtre du Châtelet

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