First Night:Blumine, marvellous Mahler
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Royal Albert Hall London
Monday 19 April 1999
"Blumine" was originally intended as part of Mahler's First symphony but never made it to the final edition, whereas the next work on Jarvi's programme - the breast-beating "Funeral Feast" - was later transformed into the first movement of Mahler's epic Resurrection symphony. Saturday's performance which was included as part of the RPO's ongoing "Mahler Spectacle" - had all the ingredients of a horror-film soundtrack. First there was a dramatic jab from the violins, then some angry gesturing among the lower strings and an unexpected show of musical sunlight.
Anyone unfamiliar with this gnarled monster will have thrilled to its Gothic grandeur, its occasional serenity and sudden climactic eruptions. Jarvi's speeds were controversially slow - so much so that when the tumbledown final climax broke loose near the end of the movement, there was premature applause before the proper ending (on quietly plucked strings) had a chance to sound. But then interpretative risk-taking has always been a characteristic of the man who, not so long ago, was voted one of the century's 25 top Estonians.
The concert's second half was given over to Mahler's madcap Seventh, though this time Jarvi changed his tack completely and charged through the music - or most of it - in top gear. The first movement either bullies in march-time or basks in its own gorgeous harmonies; the second is a sort of off-beat tango; the third a slithery scherzo visited by eerie things that go bump in the night; the fourth a tea-room intermezzo, and the finale a bric-a-brac tour de force full of brass, bells, bits of Lehar and Schumann, and goodness knows what else.
There are in-jokes galore and the guy sitting in front of me laughed at them all, though by the end of it the RPO was beginning to sound a little tired. And no wonder, given the extraordinary length of the programme. Next up in the Festival is the massive Eighth, or Symphony of a Thousand, scheduled for 6 May, under Giuseppe Sinopoli. That too should be well worth seeing.
- 1 Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness
- 2 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 3 Now diplomacy has failed, boycotting Israel might be the only way we can protect the people of Gaza
- 4 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
- 5 Kelsey Grammer forgives the man who raped and murdered his sister in 1975
Russell Brand accuses Sean Hannity of terrorism after aggressive Israel-Gaza debate
Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness
Kenny Ireland dead: Benidorm actor dies aged 68
Justin Bieber posts Instagram photo of a crying Orlando Bloom after Ibiza fight 'over Miranda Kerr'
Air Algerie AH5017 crash: Jet fell 30,000 feet in three minutes ‘due to violent storm’
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us
- < Previous
- Next >
Negotiable: Randstad Education Birmingham: LSA's required! West Midlands
Negotiable: Randstad Education Birmingham: MLD teachers required West Midlands...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Hull: Randstad Education are recruiting for a M...
£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Randstad Education are looking fo...