qatsi (qatsi) wrote,

German, German, Overalls

So much for the revamped station with its multiplied platforms; the train to London yesterday was delayed "waiting for a platform outside Reading".

Usually it's bad weather that causes the Prom queue to scramble itself; yesterday it was the heat which dispersed people to shady corners in the vicinity of the Royal Albert Hall. The concert itself, featuring the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jonathan Nott, went largely as predicted.

The first half was the UK premiere of a piece written more than 30 years ago, Helmut Lachenmann's Tanzsuite mit Deutschlandlied, in which the orchestra were joined by the Arditti Quartet. I mention the name of the composer and the piece mainly for your benefit in avoiding it in future. There were some interesting noises, but not much one might really call music. On the whole if the Deutschlandlied is to be meddled with at all, I think I would prefer it with Colin Sell at the piano.

The second half was Mahler's Symphony No. 5 and was, of course, why everyone had come to the concert. It's difficult to pick a single favourite work of Mahler, but this would certainly be a candidate. The trumpet and French horn solos were both well done. The programme estimated the duration at a staggering 73 minutes, making it a performance of Bernsteinesque tempi, but rather than languid, it was full of the necessary tension, energy and emotion. The main disadvantage of running so strictly to time was that the concert ended just to late to avoid the mysterious gap in the Great Western timetable at Paddington around 10:30pm.
Tags: music
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