Saturday 26 March 2011

Boulez rehearsing the Lucerne Festival Orchestra in Mahler

After the grotesquely disfigured rendition of the Third Symphony's finale we recently endured from Sir Simon Rattle (click here for a brief review and comments from others), what a relief it was to come across the following. Though only a rehearsal, prior to a Carnegie Hall performance, line and meaning, quite absent from that Berlin Philharmonic performance, are gloriously reinstated. Sentiment is never confused with sentimentality; musical values are always paramount. Pierre Boulez was substituting for Claudio Abbado, who had just conducted the orchestra in the same work at the Proms (click here for review). This, make no mistake, is the real thing. Even from a 'mere' rehearsal extract, I was moved to tears. A little taste, then, of what I experienced in the complete 2007 cycle from Boulez and Daniel Barenboim (my first ever blog post):