Oct 8, 2010
Got to see James Levine get back in the saddle and ride Mahler’s sprawling warhorse into the sunset last night. It was amazingly beautiful and there were times, especially during the first movement, when I thought, “Is this the most incredible music every written or conceived by any human?”
I was awe-struck by Mahler’s unending melodic inventiveness, his mastery of independent harmonic and rhythmic motion, and that insane chord which verily shreds the fabric of sanity and reality in the third and fifth movements.
I was furthermore impressed by, among other things too numerous to enumerate, the ominous and almost menacingly hushed entrance of the choir in the later stages of this dazzling and confounding masterpiece.
There may have been flaws in the execution (at least the Globe thought so) and the sheer volume towards the end was too much for my aging ears, but, all in all, I found this performance sublime and cathartic.
Plus, driving to and from the concert my car radio provided the following musical bookends: Kiss’ “Detroit Rock City” (driving in) and ELO’s “Fire on High” (driving home). Sweet.