Just Nathan

A musical offering, in parts
December 15, 2002

Shopping in Paul Smith today yielded shirts and trousers for the two of us (Alfred now has a birthday present!). We had supper at Joy King Lau near Leicester Square and then took the tube to Waterloo to see Bernard Haitink conduct the London Philharmonic Orchestra in Mahler's Second Symphony.

A friend was singing in the London Philharmonic Choir and had very kindly given us the tickets. Overall it was a fascinating performance, somewhat overwhelming in parts. It confirmed my concerns about the second symphony - such an uneven piece. Mahler seems to have thrown too many ideas, too much light and shade, too many conflicting emotions into this hotch-potch. When I compare it with the third, that moved me beyond this earth at the Proms, I could not find fault with the conductor or the orchestra, it's the sheer unconvincing opacity of the piece.

And yet, sitting on the tube on the way back to North London, I hear strains of Des Knaben Wunderhorn in the clatter of the carriages.

Just like all Mahler, I'll learn to understand it one day.

Posted by nathan at December 15, 2002 10:02 PM

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