Dudamel’s ambitious Mahler project

Posted on: January 9, 2012

“It begins innocently enough, with sleigh bells,” writes Mark Swed in Sunday’s (1/8) Los Angeles Times. “On Friday at Walt Disney Concert Hall, Gustavo Dudamel will conduct Mahler’s most classical, least angst-ridden symphony, the Fourth, which opens with frolicsome jingling and ends in angelic folk song. But that’s just the start of a project so ambitious as to be a little crazy, to use one of Dudamel’s favorite words, and the word he, himself, chose to describe the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Mahler Project during a conversation in his office at Disney Hall. Over slightly more than three weeks, Dudamel will conduct the nine symphonies Mahler completed plus the opening Adagio movement of the unfinished Tenth with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Simón Bolivar Orchestra. … The most obvious question is: Why? Is Dudamel climbing a musical Everest because he can? Is he on a quest? Is he obsessed with Mahler? Is this a publicity stunt? … He maintains that the larger appeal is the way in which Mahler looms so large in his career and imagination. He is driven to get deeper into the composer. … Dudamel also describes what will be his first time through all the Mahler symphonies as a personal journey, albeit with the cooperation of a great many others.”

Posted January 9, 2012