The centenary of Gustav Mahler’s Death is bringing forth a cornucopia – not limited to boys and enclosing a lot of mezzo and contralto lines – of wonderful concerts.
Fine, so Mahler didn’t write operas, officially. But his symphonic works contain large vocal parts and many of his symphonies tell stories some operas could be envious of.
On the occasion, Franco-German highbrow culture channel ARTE proves itself as the mezzo lovers best friend once more.
First of all, yesterday’s concert from Berlin is available as stream on demand for the entire week. The concert, conducted by the grand Claudio Abbado, features the first movement from Mahler’s 10th symphony and “Das Lied von der Erde”, the “Song of the Earth”, which has been mentioned on this blog more than once before simply because it is one of my longtime favorites. Also, it features mezzo singing. The soloists for the evening are Jonas Kaufmann and Anne Sofie von Otter – a must-hear interpretation, especially on her part (it’s possible. however, that geoblocking applies internationally). If you don’t have to cry, I’m not sure we can be friends any longer.
Regarding teh pesky geo-blocking: for all thsoe of you unable to access the Berlin concert, there is Arte Live Web, also known as “The Arte place without geoblocking”, which isn’t airing the Berlin concert, but more or less the entire Leipzig Mahler Festival, running May 17th through 29th.
Riccardo Chailly, one of the best Mahler conductors around himself (ever since I heard his reading of the 3rd, I’m reformed. I don’t know it what way exactly, but it was the kind of concert that could change lives), has invited guests from all over the world – and, coincidentally, from all over Anik’s list of personal favorites – to celebrate Mahler’s music (all ten symphonies and more).
The festival started last night at Leipzig Gewandhaus with the 2nd symphony under Chailly himself, with Christiane Oelze and Srah Connolly as vocal soloists (list of favorites, told you so).
Other festival highlights are Esa-Pekka Salonen with the 3rd (tonight), contralto solo by Lilli Paasiviki, and Daniel Harding with the 4th and the Kindertotenlieder (next Wednesday) with Mojca Erdmann. The full program short list can be found at the MDR (right-hand column), though the soloist listings aren’t up to date, a more extensive version can be found at the Gewandhaus site.
The concerts are broadcast live on Arte Live Web AND are available for a full week afterwards. Happy (or, as it is Mahler, not so happy, but soulful) listening!