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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Today marked the start of my Mahler summer: the Third Symphony at the Boulder MahlerFest XXXV. They made a big deal about this being the first US performance of the new Breitkopf performing edition, but from a listener standpoint it was nothing new.
Wonderful performance, led by Kenneth Woods. Not perfect, but for a pick up orchestra and a lot of non-professional players it was excellent. I was shocked to see the relatively small venue (Macky Hall on the UC Boulder campus) maybe 75% filled. Lots of people wearing masks, so maybe Covid kept people away.

Anyway, if you're in the southwest and have the time, this is the place to be for Mahler this summer:

July 20: the New York Philharmonic will do the 1st in Vail.
July 24: the NYP again does Mahler, this time the 6th
July 29/30: Grand Teton Festival does the 2nd.
July 31: Aspen Music Festival - again no. 1
August 7: Colorado Music Festival in Boulder gives no. 5
August 15: Aspen does no. 5

Not sure how many I'm going to make, with the current price of gas travelling is getting expensive! So Mahler lovers, let's get out and show the love and support these groups.
 

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Today marked the start of my Mahler summer: the Third Symphony at the Boulder MahlerFest XXXV. They made a big deal about this being the first US performance of the new Breitkopf performing edition, but from a listener standpoint it was nothing new.
Wonderful performance, led by Kenneth Woods. Not perfect, but for a pick up orchestra and a lot of non-professional players it was excellent. I was shocked to see the relatively small venue (Macky Hall on the UC Boulder campus) maybe 75 filled. Lots of people wearing masks, so maybe Covid kept people away.

..........................

I am assuming you mean 75% full, or did you mean the total attendance was 75 people?
 

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I'll be seeing the 8th with Vanska/Minnesota in a couple weeks, and I can't wait—I've heard that this symphony is an unforgettable event to hear live. If anyone is in the Upper Midwest and can find extra tickets floating around, this is one to go out of your way for, although tickets may be hard to come by at this point since it is Vanska's farewell performance before retirement.
 

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I'll be seeing the 8th with Vanska/Minnesota in a couple weeks, and I can't wait—I've heard that this symphony is an unforgettable event to hear live. If anyone is in the Upper Midwest and can find extra tickets floating around, this is one to go out of your way for, although tickets may be hard to come by at this point since it is Vanska's farewell performance before retirement.
It sounds like you're going to have a great time. I think Mahler and Bruckner are two composers whose work has to be heard live. Oh heck, throw in Wagner and Strauss too. :)
I was gonna say, playing Mahler to 75 people just sounds wrong somehow.
There'd be more in the orchestra than in the audience. Glad to hear it wasn't like that.
 

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I'll be seeing the 8th with Vanska/Minnesota in a couple weeks, and I can't wait—I've heard that this symphony is an unforgettable event to hear live. If anyone is in the Upper Midwest and can find extra tickets floating around, this is one to go out of your way for, although tickets may be hard to come by at this point since it is Vanska's farewell performance before retirement.
While i can't say that Vanska and Mahler are a great combination, but I'd take most any when it comes to the 8th! The closest I've come so far is a movie theater simulcast of the Dudamel/LAPhil/Simon Bolivar concert from Caracas ... better than home but still not really 'live'.
 

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Today marked the start of my Mahler summer: the Third Symphony at the Boulder MahlerFest XXXV. They made a big deal about this being the first US performance of the new Breitkopf performing edition, but from a listener standpoint it was nothing new.
Wonderful performance, led by Kenneth Woods. Not perfect, but for a pick up orchestra and a lot of non-professional players it was excellent. I was shocked to see the relatively small venue (Macky Hall on the UC Boulder campus) maybe 75% filled. Lots of people wearing masks, so maybe Covid kept people away.

Anyway, if you're in the southwest and have the time, this is the place to be for Mahler this summer:
...
To quote Elaine Stritch ... er, Joanne, from the song "The Ladies Who Lunch" from Stephen Sondheim's masterful 1970s musical comedy Company: "I'll drink to that! And one for Mahler!"
 

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While i can't say that Vanska and Mahler are a great combination, but I'd take most any when it comes to the 8th! The closest I've come so far is a movie theater simulcast of the Dudamel/LAPhil/Simon Bolivar concert from Caracas ... better than home but still not really 'live'.
I know many people don't go for him (he is after all somewhat mixed and less demonstrative than many ... and there are just so many recordings now that you need to be convinced before you give time to conductor) but I have often found Vanska to be a great Mahlerian!

Anyway, I am posting here because I also was lukewarm about Mahler 8 (for decades) until I heard Nagano's recording. There are a couple of others that I like - Ozawa (Boston) and Sinopoli (Philharmonia) - but these days it is a work I think highly of.
 

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I'll be seeing the 8th with Vanska/Minnesota in a couple weeks, and I can't wait—I've heard that this symphony is an unforgettable event to hear live. If anyone is in the Upper Midwest and can find extra tickets floating around, this is one to go out of your way for, although tickets may be hard to come by at this point since it is Vanska's farewell performance before retirement.
Is he retiring or merely letting go of the Minnesota Orchestra? I had been hoping that we would be hearing more from him in the future.
 

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I'll be seeing the 8th with Vanska/Minnesota in a couple weeks, and I can't wait—I've heard that this symphony is an unforgettable event to hear live. If anyone is in the Upper Midwest and can find extra tickets floating around, this is one to go out of your way for, although tickets may be hard to come by at this point since it is Vanska's farewell performance before retirement.
Vänskä isn't retiring. He'll be working with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra as their new music director with a three-year contract.
 

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I've been doing a Mahler symphony listen through again in the last few days. I thought I was getting more into it, but it seems like in every single symphony, I reach an emotional climax, feel very satisfied by the music, and then look down to see there's 30-45 minutes more to go.

I've legitimately enjoyed 30-40 minutes of each symphony. But then it just goes off the rails compositionally for me.
 

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A question for Mahler authorities out there: I've been looking over some of his scores and I notice bowing markings in the string parts. Are these bowings from Mahler or a later editor?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
A question for Mahler authorities out there: I've been looking over some of his scores and I notice bowing markings in the string parts. Are these bowings from Mahler or a later editor?
The ones in the scores are by Mahler. Sometimes a composer is so certain of what kind of sound they want that they write in the bowings. The rest of it is up to to the concertmaster, section leaders and conductor. Bowings have been tricky for editors of the so-called Urtext and Critical Editions because its often hard to determine if a bowing marked in a score is by Mahler or another conductor, is authentic, or was there only for one performance, etc. But the ones in the scores we can be fairly sure are bowings Mahler wanted. Now whether or not players follow them is another matter.
 
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The ones in the scores are by Mahler. Sometimes a composer is so certain of what kind of sound they want that they write in the bowings. The rest of it is up to to the concertmaster, section leaders and conductor. Bowings have been tricky for editors of the so-called Urtext and Critical Editions because its often hard to determine if a bowing marked in a score is by Mahler or another conductor, is authentic, or was there only for one performance, etc. But the ones in the scores we can be fairly sure are bowings Mahler wanted. Now whether or not players follow them is another matter.
Thanks very much!
 

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I'll be seeing the 8th with Vanska/Minnesota in a couple weeks, and I can't wait—I've heard that this symphony is an unforgettable event to hear live. If anyone is in the Upper Midwest and can find extra tickets floating around, this is one to go out of your way for, although tickets may be hard to come by at this point since it is Vanska's farewell performance before retirement.
Well, that was a fantastic experience. The soloists were outstanding (Carolyn Sampson, one of my favorite living singers, filled two roles), floating their lines exquisitely with ease. The choirs rose to the occasion despite some inevitable muffling due to their masks, and the forensic clarity of the orchestral lines was outstanding. However, exciting as it was, I didn't quite feel that it was the revelatory live experience of the symphony I was hoping for. Everything was done impeccably, but somehow it all felt somewhat cold and calculated even in the passionate moments—not words I normally associate with Mahler's 8th. There are a couple Mahler symphonies (the 4th and 6th) where I can appreciate this approach and hence I like Vänskä's recordings of them, but I felt like this performance failed to catch the theatrical spark and sense of occasion that the symphony really needs in order to sound epic and momentous rather than a mere ritual. However, my super-critical ears stood alone, and there was a nearly ten-minute round of well-deserved applause afterward to put an end to Vänskä's tenure—one that transformed the Minnesota Orchestra into one of the nation's most respected ensembles. So overall, I agree that this symphony needs to be heard live, and I think it is a masterpiece (though not close in my estimation to the 4th, 6th, DLVDE, and 9th). The sheer opulent imagination and beauty of Mahler's scoring is astounding. But I just wish Vänskä took more risks with his direction, á la Solti, Horenstein, and Bernstein; that would have truly elevated the experience to the next level.
 
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