New Cleveland Orchestra season gets off to grand start with Mahler's Symphony No. 3
Posted September 24, 2012 in Articles
Author: Zachary Lewis
Thursday night was a grand time to be at Severance Hall.
Not only was it a major occasion, the first concert of the 2012-13 season, but the Cleveland Orchestra also marked it with a suitably major work, Mahler's Symphony No. 3, one of the largest symphonies in the standard orchestral repertoire.
What's more, it was a huge evening in terms of sheer numbers. On stage next to an immense orchestra were a mezzo-soprano soloist, the women of the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus, and the Cleveland Orchestra Children's Chorus, all of whom acquitted themselves splendidly.
Big didn't always mean best, however. While the performance under Franz Welser-Möst was generally effective, and often supremely beautiful, it also fell short of greatness, sullied by imbalances and a stifled finale.
On the macro level, the music director's handling of the score was masterful. In his hands, the symphony, performed without intermission, progressed steadily from utter darkness to warm, almost blinding light.