tue 21/11/2017

Vogt, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Bělohlávek, Barbican Hall | reviews, news & interviews

Vogt, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Bělohlávek, Barbican Hall

Vogt, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Bělohlávek, Barbican Hall

Unassuming mastery favours slow burn and telling detail in a mighty Mahler Sixth

Jiří Bělohlávek: A master of slow burn and telling detail in MahlerChris Christodoulou

As Mahler symphonies rain down from heaven - or flare up from hell, according to your viewpoint - in this second anniversary year, it's wise to choose carefully. But why earmark Jiří Bělohlávek's performance of the Sixth above the likes of Gergiev, Dudamel, Jurowski or Maazel? Because he's been working his way through the cycle with his BBC orchestra at the careful rate of one a year; because he knows what space to give, and what colours to draw; and above all, because he refuses to batter our hearts too fiercely too soon - crucial for the most insistent tragic chapter in Mahler's symphonic chronicle.

We were now in nightmare territory, an opium-fuelled dream to follow high-minded epic

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