Thursday, June 18, 2009

Esa-Pekka Salonen rawks Athens!


After a lukewarm first part, with Liszt's Piano Concerto No.2 (soloist Jannis Vakarelis), that left me half-hearted,
second part of the concert with Mahler's 6th, rewarded athenian concert-goers.

Esa-Pekka Salonen's direction of the Philharmonia Orchestra in Mahler's Tragic Symphony was
poetic in the Adagio, passionate in the Scherzo, ecstatic, brilliant, soulful in the Allegro moderato, overwhelming overall and at times left me breathless (well, maybe it was just Mahler and his genius who afterall left me breathless).

“My sixth will propound riddles, the solution of which may be attempted only by a generation which has absorbed and truly digested my first five symphonies.”
G. Mahler


*Kudos to the exemplary audience! No coughing, no cell-phones, no chatting! Awesome!*


16 comments:

mahler76 said...

πραγματικά μια τέλεια βραδιά!!!

fairy anonumous said...

Exemplary audience YES, but not enough audience. This kind of performance should be FULL.
Why not????? !!!!!
At the first part, it was half full, at the second slightly better (I wonder how???)
I do not understand WHAT in the image of Greek Festival is destroyed in people's mind and they do not attend such performances, with low prices also.
And DO NOT tell me that Greeks do not love music !!!

Parsifal said...

I suppose that many people came after the intermission coz they didnt want to listen to Vakarelis, they just wanted to listen to Mahler (I saw it with my own eyes, many people entering during intermission).

OK, let's see. The Odeon's capacity is about 4.500 people, ain't it?

How many were there last night? 2,500? Well, 2,500 are enough to sell out almost all major auditoriums in Europe.

And I may be repeating myself but why should the Festival consider a triumph 5 sold-out performances at Pireos 260, with a medium capacity of 250 (250X5=1250) and not the, lets say, ALREADY sold out concert of Barenboim with the La Scala Philarmonia (more than 4.000 tickets).

OH! And by the way, the Athens Festival 2009 has sold by far less tickets than the 2008 edition, check for youself, last year you couldnt get last minute tickets for any of the performances and this year only a few performances are/were sold out...

***More and more people comment me that this is by far the worst edition of the Festival under Loukos direction. I couldnt agree more. Even the theatre performances are like masterclasses for greek actors/directors (who are usually a big percentage of the audience).

Fairy anonumous said...

I agree to all except to the following:

I do not think that people entered on purpose after the break. I just believe that not more than 2000 seats were sold and they "allowed" some people to enter free after...
As regards the choice of program, i saw with my eyes many people leaving at middle of Mahler... Difficult to digest Mahler, and especially this one...
Maybe they thought that they were going to hear the soundtrack of "mort a Venise"...

spiretos72 said...

Kai ua mporouse na proselkisei akomi perissotero kosmo an eixan mia politiki pou ua elege px pos dinoun tin teleftaia ora ta apoulita eisitiria gia 10 euro to kato diazoma kai gia 3 to pano h' sti misi timi or smth...

Kai afti i isteria na min se afinoun na metakinitheis se adeies ueseis apo pou tous proekipse pali?

Parsifal said...

Auth einai kainouria ysteria! Extes to ekanan prwth fora! K epishs prwth fora mou tyxainoun toso AGENEIS taksi8etries. Kai toso 8oryvwdeis. Kopeliaaaaa....an variesai k 8es na paikseis me to kinhto sou/thn mpoukla sou or whatever, PERNA EKSW k mh mou th spas....

mahler76 said...

την υστερία με τις θέσεις δεν την έκαναν πρώτη φορά. Υπό τον Λούκο γίνεται πάντα στο Ηρώδειο τα τελευταία 3 χρόνια. Ακόμα και σε περιπτώσεις όπως χθές που ήταν πολλές οι άδειες θέσεις. Όσο για την πτώση ποιότητας του Φεστιβάλ αυτή είναι παραπάνω απο εμφανής και είναι κρίμα διότι τις 2 προηγούμενες χρονιές είδαμε θαύματα.

derwanderer said...

Well, I don't wish to spoil the excitment here,but my impressions slightly diverge from those of our host: In brief:

The Liszt was just routine, indifferent and not that "clean" either. Accuarte and brillinat playing from the orchestra but loud and a bit showy. Some lack of coordination, questionable dynamics (far too loud in certain passages) and mediocre piano.

Mahler's 6th,is, obviously, a piece that EPS knows very well.
I was lefy speachless by EPS accuracy and by his constructive, alanlytical approach. BUT, although I found the performance technically awsome, I didn't get what I am expecting in this symphony: Emotion, sense of tragedy, stylistic insight, musicality.
Hang me high if you wish, but behind all this showmanship and turmoil, I felt that there was not much feeling.
Loud, very loud playing -and not always that ecstatic either- easy sonic effects, triumph of the technique over emotion...
Nowwhere was that more obvious than in the finale, void of any tragic, a brilliant, almost impressionistic, creation of sonic lustre.
Of course, this is a personnal approach. I found orchestra and conductor quite amazing but I felt deprived of musical sense. Question of musical taste I guess.

Parsifal said...

oh no no no, dont worry dear Wanderer, you were not the only one to have that impression. I also thought of the words "show off", "Hollywood soundtrack playing", "lustre", "loud", etc etc but I was SO moved and overwhelmed by their crystal clear sound and their (close to) perfect playing that I found myself in tears by the end of the last movement.

derwanderer said...

well, the finale was precisly the part that was the most "deficient" as far as musical approach is in stake. Brilliant, sharp, but tragic? musical? insightfull?
If i am to choose just one word, this would be "histrionic" and, finally, cold.
Of course, technical accuracy is a sine qua non in Mahler and in that field EPS proved excellent. As I said in the box, thanks to his approach and "deconstruction" i remarked passages that I had (almost) never before "heard".

Fairy anonumous said...

Do you mean luck of feeling in the composition????

Or in the execution??

derwnaderer said...

in the excecution, of course. I would have been pretentious and ridiculous for me to pretend that I "know" the piece or Music fairly enough to judge the inspiration of Mahler, especially in such a complex piece. Almost all the 6ths that i have attended (5 or 6, no more :-( ), most of them far less polished than SPS, (Boulez's excepted, back in the 90ies with LSO) have touched me more than yestreday's. They were falwed, maybe but emotive and comunicative. "feel me!" they were shouting, not just "admire me!".
But then, i repeat, this must be personnal taste.

Anonymous said...

I liked the M6 very-very much, E-Pek was very very good, the orchestra were very-very good and yes I was moved (like Parsifal) by the performance. Mipos exei kai afti hxografithei apo ton dear Parsifalito?
I am interested in this recording.

Parsifal said...

Indeed, indeed, but who might that be??

mahler76 said...

χαχαχα σύντροφε ανέβασε υλικό χαχαχα

sakafiora said...

agree 100%