Mahler 3

This is my least favorite of Mahler’s works. It’s full of fantastic music, but has a rough opening movement. The themes lack his usual elegance, and the transitions can blunt. The last movement is triumphal, but since this is his nature narrative, there is not the same sense of darkness to overcame.

But Boulez has long experience with it, and he and the orchestra believe in it. Again, a powerful performance. There was tremendous magic in the commodo movement, a beautiful sense of the landscape that you are strolling through, lost in reverie, when gradually you hear the posthorn in the distance, not announcing the arrival of the mail in the next town, but lost in its own reverie. Just breathtaking.

Tonight, the 4th, which will be refreshing after the outsized emotional content of the last two nights.


I'm a composer and musician, and I write about music—I do that here, for the New York Classical Review, at the Brooklyn Rail (I edit the music section there) and any place else that will have me, like New Music Box and Music & Literature. I also wrote the Miles Davis' Bitches Brew book in the 33 1/3 series.