BBC Proms 2022: Promenade 49 Simon Rattle conducts Mahler – life affirming

BBC Proms 2022: Promenade 49 Simon Rattle conducts Mahler – life affirming


ny efficiency of Mahler’s Second Symphony (the “Resurrection”), particularly one on the BBC Proms resonating beneath that distinctive glazed-iron dome of the Albert Corridor, is more likely to be a transferring expertise.

Final evening’s efficiency with Simon Rattle conducting the London Symphony Orchestra and the mixed forces of the Metropolis of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and London Symphony choruses, all in magnificent kind, was one not simply forgotten.

Thrilling because the setting of Friedrich Klopstock’s Resurrection Ode within the finale reliably is, it’s what occurs within the 4 actions main as much as it that allows a conductor to place their stamp on the efficiency.

Rattle misplaced no time in getting ready us for this epic non secular journey. Within the opening funeral march, his tread was not heavy or lugubrious, however brisk and unsentimental. But the lyrical episodes with which these elegiac strains have been juxtaposed have been delivered with swooning portamenti that rendered their wistful musings the sweetest of sorrows. (Mahler himself referred to pictures of a long-dead hour of happiness coming into the soul like a sunbeam.)

Chris Christodoulou

The predominant flavour of the second-movement Ländler, a preferred rustic dance, might certainly have appeared nearly saccharine, however one was reminded how these near loss of life can expertise the fantastic thing about apple blossom with an depth denied to others.

Rattle moved and not using a break into the scherzo third motion, sustaining an eerie calm with restrained dynamics, but highlighting the spooky brushing of the Rute (a bundle of sticks) on the drums.

Later within the motion, trumpets leered like gargoyles, getting ready us for the full-orchestra outburst that Mahler known as “a cry of disgust”. The temper handed to introduce the numinous setting of Urlicht (Primal Gentle), sonorously delivered by Sarah Connolly, lingering lovingly over the ultimate consolatory phrases.

And so to the climactic finale, which Rattle paced unerringly, permitting us to savour the offstage brass, the shivering of brushed cymbals, a cataclysmic drum roll (emanating from stage and gallery concurrently and ricocheting around the corridor like gunfire). That is Mahler at his most sublimely idiosyncratic: all a prelude to the storming of the heavens about to come back.

The 300 choristers, ready patiently for his or her 5 minutes of glory, remained seated and unobtrusive for a number of pages longer, permitting the soprano Louise Alder to rise seraphically above them. Then got here the roof-raising peroration, orchestra, organ and mixed choruses all becoming a member of in a spine-tingling affirmation of religion in life itself.

Mahler’s perspective to faith and the afterlife was ambivalent, to say the least. The paradox is that an amazing efficiency of this death-obsessed work sends one out into the evening glad to be alive.

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