Mahler 4 at the TSO

Last night’s TSO concert was pretty satisfying.  It kicked off with The Dance of the Seven Veils from Salome.  I don’t think I’ve ever really listened to this without visuals before so that was interesting.  I thought Michael Sanderling did a good job of maintaining clarity while building towards the big climax.  For the rest of the program the orchestra was joined by Simone Osborne.  We got some “lollipops” in the first half.  The Song to the Moon from Rusalka, Depuis le jour from Louise and, unannounced, Vilja from The Merry Widow. Lovely singing, here sensitively accompanied by Sanderling and the orchestra.  Simone was clearly audible throughout which doesn’t always happen at Roy Thomson Hall.

Simone Osborne

The second half was the “meat” of the concert; Mahler’s Fourth Symphony.  It is a peculiar piece in a way.  It depicts a child’s vision of heaven with rather typical pre WW1 sentimentality and it needs, I think, a very light touch to maintain the naivety without descending into kitsch.  Sanderling managed it pretty well and he got some very good support from the TSO principals.  Clarity of texture does seem to be his thing and it was well maintained here.  Simone, of course, had the job of navigating the especially naive text and music of the fourth movement.  She did a really nice job.  She has a sweet, pure tone and it worked perfectly for this music.  She and Sanderling kept it simple and it felt appropriate.  All in a pretty satisfying night at the Symphony.

This program is being repeated on Saturday at 8pm.

Photo credit: Malcolm Cook

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