Mahler 10 from Nézet-Séguin

Veronika Eberle rehearsing Berg in the Herkulessaal

By ANDREW POWELL
Published: March 9, 2017

MUNICH — Making a taut and impassioned case for Mahler’s Tenth Symphony (1910) here at the Herkulessaal Feb. 17, Yannick Nézet-Séguin still rather confirmed Leonard Bernstein’s dictum that the composer “had said it all in the Ninth.” Mahler’s inspiration sustained itself, as tidily executed by the Symphonie-Orchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, until after the second group of mortifying drum strokes, about a third the way through the 25-minute Finale. Then the emptiness he sought to convey played out only too literally: ashen recollections of earlier material, mostly from the opening movement, really running on empty. This was Cooke III; we know the composer’s substance in the Finale, not what he might ultimately have achieved with its form. The evening began with Berg’s Violin Concerto, Dem Andenken eines Engels, courtesy of Veronika Eberle (pictured in rehearsal). Sadly the partnership with the visiting Canadian yielded only a tepid traversal of this wondrous 1935 score, for all the beauty of her tone and obvious commitment. Both works were livestreamed and remain, for now, accessible online. Nézet-Séguin recorded the symphony in Montreal in 2014 with his Orchestre Métropolitain.

Photo © Bayerischer Rundfunk

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