Saturday, June 11, 2011

SFS - Mahler 2

Symphony no.2 by Mahler, Salle Pleyel in Paris, May 31 2011

Michael Tilson Thomas .... conductor

Laura Claycomb ..... soprano
Katarina Karnéus ..... mezzo

San Francisco Symphony
Chorus of Radio France (Matthias Brauer)

The San Francisco Symphony is celebrating 100 years since its foundation. They are currently touring in Europe and gave two concerts in Paris. I was able to see the second one, hoping for one of my fave symphonies by Mahler to sound special. In the end it was not special -- it was very good for the large part, except for the last movement that fell short in reaching the climax of the whole symphony.

Especially good was the first movement. The same could be said for the technical performance of the whole Symphony. There is nothing one could reproach them on the side of precision or engagement. It's just that the gravy was missing. That little something that boosts a very good to the level of extraordinary, something peculiar, something "personal". Maybe they were over-rehearsed, or the conductor insisted on respecting his very regular tempi... dunno. The fact is that everything was well done, I love this music immensely,.... and yet I never felt exulted the way I usually do during & after listening to this symphony.

Michael Tilson Thomas  is quite seldom in Paris, and since he is one of those famous conductor la Salle Pleyel was packed with many curious people, clearly expecting something big to happen. Laura Claycomb and Katarina Karnéus did very well their part of the job, the chorus was actually pulling the orchestra from falling flat in the last part, but apart from demonstration of the scholarly precision (much better than with L.A. philharmonic!), this concert will not remain as memorable.

Laura Claycomb, Katarina Karnéus, and Michael Tilson Thomas

EDIT: I found the link where you can listen to the recording of this concert. Enjoy! 

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