Nyhed

Supersoniske wienere | Koncertanmeldelse

Wiener Filharmonikerne cruisede sikkert gennem Mahlers vanskelige femte symfoni, men der var et bump på vejen.

[scroll down for the english version]

***** (5 stjerner ud af 6)

Af Andrew Mellor

Det er næsten umuligt at følge op på det drama og den atmosfære, der var under Malko-konkurrencen for unge dirigenter, som nåede en spændende finale fredag aften. Medmindre du har Wiener Filharmonikerne, som besøgte DR Koncerthuset to dage efter, og som havde musik af Gustav Mahler på programmet.

Nogle koncertgængere blev måske skuffet over, at den programsatte dirigent Zubin Mehta meldte fra for tre uger siden og blev erstattet af Daniel Harding – en britisk musiker, hvis stædige og analytiske fortolkninger kan få publikum til at gå kold. Men Harding skuffede ikke søndag aften. Hans præstation af den mest “wienerske” af Mahlers symfonier var idiomatisk, fuld af beskrivende detaljer og en fantastisk energi.

Harding drysser ikke sukker eller græder tårer over Mahlers ekspressionistiske musik som Leonard Bernstein eller Klaus Tennstedt. I stedet fokuserer han på detaljer, balance, klarhed og fremdrift, og lader Mahlers vrede, desperation og ironi tale for sig selv.

Desuden skader det ikke, at Harding har et usædvanligt godt øre for de svingende wienerrytmer, som den femte symfoni flyder over af, og så evner han at bygge musikken op i lag frem mod Mahlers atomiserende klimaks. Hver gang vi genhørte Mahlers detaljerigdom – reminiscenser fra begravelsesmarchen i begyndelsen eller scherzoens hornmotiver – gav Hardings musikere dem en lille drejning.

Og hvilke musikere! Wiener Filharmonikerne er supersoniske og har én kollektiv strømmende klang, hvilket forklarer orkestrets berømmelse. Horn og trompeter er lige så tydelige, slebne og stramme som strygerne, der kan genkendes alene ud fra deres pizzicati. Orkestret cruisede sikkert gennem Mahlers vanskelige farvand, men lød angstfulde, når komponistens karakteristiske øjeblikke af krise indtraf. Harding ansporede symfoniens række af store sammenbrud begavet og uden unødig overdramatisering.

Dirigenten undlod at placere solohornisten forrest på scenen under soloen i scherzoen, som det normalt gøres for at adskille solisten fra de andre messingblæsere. I stedet blev differentieringen opnået alene gennem klang. Vi hørte en forholdsvis rask Adagietto, hvor de gentagende fraser igen blev varieret og skabte musikkens livsnerve – en rejse ned i følelsesdybet frem mod den sidste akkord, der lød kosmisk. Harding fortsatte derefter direkte mod symfoniens ophøjede finale, der fremhævede de strukturelle sammenhænge mellem de to satser. Hans fokus sikrede, at der var en enorm selvforstærkende kraft i den sidste triumferende D-dur klang, men volumen blev for intens i forhold til koncertsalens akustik.

Aftenen blev dog indledt med et helt andet værk, Bernsteins Symfoni nr. 1, ‘Jeremiah’, som havde et gennemgående problem. I symfoniens tre satser anvendes der temaer, som stammer fra specifikke jødiske liturgiske kilder, der bygger på fortællingen om de bibelske klager fra ‘Jeremias’ bog’. Ifølge forlægget bør stemningen være bønlig, men Bernsteins karakteristiske rytmiske verve er til stede gennem hele værket, og Hardings meget mørke, tunge fortolkning kunne til tider skjule dette.

Mezzosopranen Elisabeth Kulman sang den sidste sats med en cremet og klagende vokal og tog kontrol over værkets dramatiske fokuspunkt. Men på trods af forskellige modsigelser er denne tre-satsede symfoni et perfekt eksempel på sonateformen, på trods af en uafklaret slutning, som ikke giver mening i en symfonisk sammenhæng. Godt, at Mahler var behjælpelig, og efterfølgende kunne binde de løse ender sammen.

Wiener Filharmonikerne / Dirigent Daniel Harding
DR Koncertsalen, 28.4.18

Foto: Chris Christodoulou

– o –

Supersonic Viennese | Operareview

The Vienna Philharmonics cruised through the many tricky junctions in Mahler’s 5. symphony, but there was a bump in the road.

***** (5 stars out of 6)

By Andrew Mellor

It is almost impossible to follow the drama and atmosphere of the Malko Competition for Young Conductors, which reached a thrilling conclusion on Friday evening. Unless, that is, you have the Vienna Philharmonic visiting the DR Concert House two days later, bringing music by Gustav Mahler with it.

Some ticketholders may have been disappointed that the original conductor Zubin Mehta withdrew three weeks ago and was replaced by Daniel Harding – a British musician whose bullish and analytical interpretations can leave audiences cold. But Harding did not disappoint on Sunday evening. His performance of this most Viennese of Mahler’s symphonies was idiomatic, full of telling details and loaded with awesome power.

Harding does not sprinkle sugar or tears over Mahler’s expressionistic music in the manner of Leonard Bernstein or Klaus Tennstedt. Instead he prioritizes detail, balance, clarity and pacing. He lets Mahler’s rage, desperation and irony speak for themselves.

It helps that Harding has an exceptional ear for the swinging Viennese rhythms on which the Fifth Symphony sits, and an ability to build the music in layers towards Mahler’s pulverizing climaxes. Each time we heard Mahler’s obsessive details returning – the tread of the opening funeral march or the yanking horn calls of the scherzo – they were given a new shade of expression by Harding’s musicians.

And what musicians! The Vienna Philharmonic has a sonic depth and corporate fluency that explains its fame. Its horns and trumpets are as distinctively rich, burnished and tight as its strings. Those strings can be recognized from their pizzicatos alone. The orchestra cruised through the many tricky junctions in Mahler’s symphony with confidence but sounded ridden with angst at the composer’s characteristic moments of crisis. Harding paced the big moments of disruption expertly and without undue histrionics.

The conductor didn’t bring the solo horn to the front of the stage for its solo in the scherzo, which usually helps differentiate the soloist from his colleagues. Instead the differentiation was achieved through tone colour alone. We heard a relatively brisk Adagietto in which differentiation between the repeating phrases again became the music’s lifeblood – a journey down into depths of feeling towards a final chord that sounded cosmic. Harding then pushed straight on into the symphony’s exalted finale, underlining the structural links between the two movements. His attentiveness ensured there was huge cumulative weight behind Mahler’s final D-major triumph, but the blazing could be a little too intense for the hall’s acoustic.

That was a more consistent problem in the piece that came first: Bernstein’s Symphony No 1, Jeremiah. The piece uses themes taken from specific Jewish liturgical sources in its recounting of verses from the biblical Lamentations of Jeremiah across three movements. The mood might be prayerful, but Bernstein’s characteristic rhythmic verve is present in the piece and Harding’s very dark, heavy performance could sometimes obscure it.

Mezzo-soprano Elisabeth Kulman sang the final movement with a creamy, plaintive tone and took control of the work’s dramatic focal point. But despite various protestations that the three-movement work is a perfect example of sonata form, its inconclusive ending makes little symphonic sense. A good job Mahler was on hand to tie up that loose end.

Vienna Philharmonic/Daniel Harding
DR Concert Hall, 28.4.18

Foto: Chris Christodoulou

Læs også: En væddeløbshest kræver sin mand | Interview Franz Welser-Möst

Bestil gaveabonnement på magasinet KLASSISK

FLERE NYHEDER