Mahler is in the air today- I’m on way to rehearsal this evening, and what should I find on my daily check of Norman Lebrecht’s Slipped Disc but a mention of the very concert I’m conducting here in Wrexham
The American conductor Kenneth Woods is about to present the sixth symphony as part of a complete Mahler cycle that is being staged in Wrexham, North Wales.
Now how brave is that?
Mahler wrote the sixth for the best professionals of his time and collapsed in tears at their inability to achieve the effects he sought. A century later, the technicalities are within the grasp of practised amateurs but the language of the symphony and its embedded ambiguities require more study than hard-working people can usually spare in their leisure hours.
So hats off to Wrexham, and to Kenneth Woods, for their courage and determination. It’s on February 26. Don’t forget the date. The concert is sponsored by Cobalz, makers of an anti-Alzheimer’s drug.
Also arriving on my laptop this afternoon is the cover design for the upcoming Orchestra of the Swan recording of Das Lied von der Erde and Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen. Ain’t it pretty? Release scheduled for May on Somm Recordings. The painting is: Nicholas Roerich. “Star of the Hero.” 1936.