Friday, November 07, 2003


It's curious. An otherwise glittering performance of Mahler's Second Symphony ('The Resurrection') by the Philharmonia -- under the baton of long-term enthusiast Gilbert Kaplan -- at London's Royal Festival Hall on 3 November did not use the new, definitive Deutsche Grammophon score of the work. This seems odd because many had assumed that this concert had been timed to coincide with the publication.

As is well known, Kaplan (an amateur conductor and musicologist solely devoted to this work) has paintakingly reconstructed the most authoritative version of 'The Resurrection' ever published, using the 14 different printed sources going back to the composer. He has been assisted in this herculean task by co-editor and world-renowned Mahler devotee Renata Stark-Voit.

Rumour has it that the Vienna Philharmonic may have lobbied hard to preserve the world premier for themselves. The official reason is that the orchestral parts were not available in time. Diana Damrau (soprano) and Nadja Michael (mezzo-soprano) were the soloists at the RFH, along with the London Philharmonic Choir and the Brighton Festival Chorus.

Also worth a look is Donald Mitchell's essay, "The Twentieth Century's Debt to Mahler: Our debt to him in the Twenty-first", from the 2000 MahlerFest.

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