Rafi Zabor’s Updoc, Fri 1/24 & Tues 1/28

Claudio Abbado, who moved on to other worlds at the age of 80 just the other day, had an illustrious international conducting career for decades, and one might have thought the climax of it would be his assumption of the leadership of the Berlin Philharmonic in 1989 but 1) Herbert von Karajan was a hard act to follow, and 2) Abbado seemed to do his best music-making after quitting the Berliners’ active leadership for reasons of health. After surviving radical cancer surgery, he conducted a number of orchestras superbly, most of all the Lucerne Festival Orchestra he’d assembled around the nucleus of his Mahler Youth Orchestra by adding to it scads of international star soloists and section members. His live Lucerne recording of the Mahler 9th takes up most of the airspace on this week’s Updoc—Friday at 8PM and noon next Tuesday, New York Philharmonic time—and should stun everyone who listens to it. Abbado’s Lucerne Mahler cycle is one for the ages, and may never be surpassed: it’s on DVD and Blu-ray, not CD, and it’s up on youtube again: catch it while you can. Updoc is audio only, but we also have a Mozart piano concerto with Abbado and Pires, and only a very few words about a man who was well-loved both musically and personally, and who achieved miracles with that Swiss-based orchestra, until just the other day. AbbadoExult

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