“Mahler Comes to Wales” and everywhere else

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 […]

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Holiday blogosphere wrap-up- Lebrecht and Stockinger

Even as we all struggle to break free of seemingly unshakeable holiday lethargy, the blogosphere is coming back to life. In fact, some bloggers have been inspiringly busy over the holidays. One blogger who has been particularly productive over the break has been the indefatigable dynamo, Norman Lebrecht. His blog, Slipped Disc, has continued to […]

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Explore the Score: Robert Schumann: Symphony no. 3 in E-flat Major

  To make the reading experience more engaging, we’ve linked to audio samples of the various musical examples discussed. Look for the highlighted text. Chances are, in most browsers a little box will pop up over the text where you can play the excerpt without leaving the page. If not, just click on it and […]

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Concert Review- Stratford-upon-Avon Herald: Orchestra of the Swan Mahler and Strauss

“Mahler of quite exceptional quality” Civic Hall, Stratford upon Avon 26 November 2010 by John Wheeler “On Friday at the Townsend Hall, in Shipston, we were treated to a concert of quite exceptional quality, entitled ‘Essential Mahler’ in which the Orchestra of the Swan was joined by contralto Emma Curtis, tenor Brennen Guillory and baritone […]

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Performer’s Perspective- DLvdE, beginnings and endings, connections and contradictions

Gustav Mahler is a composer whose music again and again finds connectivity in contrast and contradiction. His music is full of starkly contrasting opposites, and yet he always seems to find connection and unity between light and dark, fast and slow, happy and sad, and beginnings and endings. Mahler had a greater gift than almost […]

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Expert’s Perspective- Mahler 5, an Ass and Two Birds

“The donkey found it pleasing, and only said Wait! Wait! Wait! I will announce my judgement now. Well have you sung, Nightingale! But, Cuckoo, you sing a good chorale!” On Friday, the intrepid musicians of the Harlech Orchestral Academy performed Mahler’s Fifth Symphony- a performance that was every bit as hot as the auditorium we were […]

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The best program you never heard in your life

You can call it the best program you’ve never heard in your life. You can call it the almost revelatory program that almost happened- what you can’t call it is the program for the final concert of the Harlech Orchestral Summer School, which I’m now preparing for. Harlech is an intense week long program that […]

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Future Performer’s Perspective- Mahler 10, am I late yet?

Many, many years ago, as a young teenager, I became completely obsessed with Mahler’s music. Back then, living in the Midwest, there was far less material on Mahler about- I ended up scouring libraries and compulsively hunting through record stores, trying bit by bit to track down recordings of all his works. In the age […]

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Expert’s Perspective- Mahler 10, a crisis

The Bridgewater Hall- Mahler in Manchester Peter Davison continues his invaluable contributions to the Mahler discussions here with his thoughts on Mahler’s unfinished Tenth Symphony. On Saturday, June 5th, the BBC Philharmonic and Gianandrea Noseda will perform Deryck Cooke’s  performing version of the work in the final concert of Mahler in Manchester Escaping Klingsor’s Magic […]

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Performer’s Perspective- Mahler 9, a meditation after a drama

  I hope readers don’t mind me framing my thoughts about Mahler 9 in terms of conducting. It seems to make sense if for no other reason than the fact that Mahler 9 is at or near the top of many, probably most, conductors’ lists of works they want to conduct before they die. I […]

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Expert’s perspective- Mahler 9, a bitter burlesque

The Bridgewater Hall- Mahler in Manchester In American football, coaches learn that when a play is working for you, go keep going to it until the other team figures out a way to stop it. In this spirit, I’ve asked Peter Davison, whose previous contributions to this series ahve been so valuable and complimentary, for […]

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