Sunday, December 11, 2011

Also Sprach Salonen

E-PS tweets:

Back with Mahler6. Form can be annoyingly labyrinthine, directionless, orchestration always beyond reproach. Sibelius is the exact opposite.

Think of Beethoven 1st: all proportions perfect. In Mahler the poetry of geometry is replaced by a narrative. A powerful one for sure.

Sibelius had a gift for organism-like musical forms. His orchestral technique was never completely reliable Most of my colleagues agree.

[I am a fan of Salonen's Sibelius; would pay folding money to hear him conduct Mahler....or anyone else, for that matter.]


Michael Walsh said...

I think "directionless" is a little harsh, but there's no disputing that Mahler could have used a GPS in the outer movements of the Sixth.

The Sibelius-Mahler comparison is interesting because I'm currently listening to the symphonies of Nielsen, who at his best embraces the grandeur of Mahler as filtered through the economy of Sibelius. Or maybe it's just Mahlerian ideas with better editing.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Oh, hmm. I don't know that I'd make a Nielsen-Mahler comparison, largely because Nielsen IS so economical and even classical in form. Alex Ross compared his energy to Beethoven's a few years back, and perhaps there is something to a formal comparison as well.