Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Path through Purgatory Gives Glimpses of Heaven; CLASSICAL

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Path through Purgatory Gives Glimpses of Heaven; CLASSICAL

Article excerpt

Byline: BRIAN HUNT

LSO/Jansons, Barbican

THERE are many ways to get Mahler wrong in performance, but the one currently fashionable in London is to wring anguish from every bar. And there are many ways in which last night's interpretation of his Sixth Symphony was magnificent, but one was the avoidance of such forced, dutiful angst. No one could have accused conductor Mariss Jansons of underplaying the emotion - almost every phrase seemed to be a crescendo, an outreach, an appeal.

But although we were going through purgatory, the glimpses of heaven and haven were, however distant, tangible and fully expressed.

The urgent march of the opening movement, so often a grim advance towards conflict, was here a panicked retreat. The beauty and peace of the slow movement shone like a vision; the more desperately it was aspired to, the more it became distorted by pain. The finale developed an extraordinary momentum, as if rushing to embrace inevitable tragedy. …

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