MTT conducts Mahler 7 for a transcendant experienceWell, I've just come from Carnegie Hall, and all I can say is that if MTT gets the M7 recorded in as fine a fashion as it was performed tonight he will have a reference recording. It was absolutely stunning in its structure, clarity, pacing and mood. He really owned Carnegie Hall by the end of the concert. The audience was rapt, and despite a long period of time (at least 78 minutes) there wasn't a cell phone that went off and everyone did their best to keep coughing at a minimum. It is a night that I will never forget. No encores (mahler is very exhausting), but standing ovations and at least 4 curtain calls.
I cannot say enough about the high professionalism of this orchestra. MTT has them in excellent form and they sound wonderful. The first part of the program was a performance of MTT's own Poems of Emily Dickinson put to music. Barbara Bonney sang and she did a great job on very demanding music. I liked them, but most of the audience was restive and although Ms. Bonney was singing in English, if the text of the poems hadn't been in the playbill I wouldn't have understood more than a word here and there. The music is very abstract but there are hints of references to other works (including Mahler and even Leonard Bernstein) that peek out. The applause at the end was more than polite, but nowhere near the enthusiastic level for Andsnes the night before or the rapturous applause after the Mahler. Then again, I doubt that these pieces are on the same level as the Mahler either, as good as they are.