Friday, 22 August 2008

Late music warning . . .

No, I won't. Give up writing about 'contemporary' music. So I did listen to Prom 48 (but not the Mahler) for the Stockhausen, which I will be reviewing, though I suppose it will frighten readers away again like it did last time.

I'm very awkward  and difficult to please about two things: one is Mahler, who I kind of brought myself to some sort of musical maturity with at the ages of 16 and 17, when I listened to hardly anything else, so even now I don't want to risk a disappointment, and the other is Leonore No3, which I should probably be banned from ever reviewing for a different reason.

That's because a very old recording, found in my grandmother's forgotten box of records, was what must have introduced me to classical music at the age of about eight or nine. I can still hear how I want it to be in my head, even after all these years.

Though the Gurzenich orchestra had some nice bits in it (offstage trumpets? rousing timpani) I thought their Leonore had a rather heavy undertow to it that stopped it swimming up to the sparkling surface. And I don't think the Parsifal encore was ever going to make it into the sunlit uplands.

Still, if you think I'm wrong and I should listen to the Mahler 5, you'd better tell me within the next week. I'm not going to tell you when the Stockhausen Punkte will appear; it'll be a nice surprise, won't it?

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