The Big City

”The more susbtantial an individual’s aesthetic experience is, the sounder his taste, the sharper his moral focus, the freer—though not necessarily the happier—he is.."

This is a collaborative list from myself and my colleagues at the New York Classical Review, Eric Simpson and David Wright. We rotate the first choice every year, so Eric’s pick is first overall, and my top live performance from the calendar year was the New York Philharmonic playing Mahler’s Symphony No. 6 under Simone Young (who was filling in at the proverbial last minute for Jaap van Zweden). I have been somewhat fanatical about Akhnaten, which is the finest thing I’ve ever seen at the Metropolitan Opera and, along with the Les Arts Florissant production of Atys, the greatest opera production I’ve seen, but the Mahler left a mark that was just a bit deeper. Chalk it up to the drama of the moment, but also that this was so fine, so well-formed, and Young’s vision was so clear and perfect that it is the finest single Mahler performance I’ve ever heard, live or on record.

Interesting to me is that both David Wright and I picked the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s George Crumb concerts. The one I saw was extraordinary. Put it down as the consensus best classical performance of the year. See more at the link below.

New York Classical Review » Blog Archive » Top Ten Performances of 2019
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