Rafi Zabor’s Updoc Fri 4/17 & Tues 4/21

SecondMSib attempt to air this show in which: Updoc’s ace programmer decided to take the week off, sort of. Well, when you program a complete Mahler symphony, especially his longest, you’ve pretty much got your two-hour slot aced for the week—not that that was his motivation! No, his ear got hooked by last week’s alternation of Mahler’s 3rd excerpts and bebop alto: those selections were from Jascha Horenstein’s great version; this time he’s moved on to Claudio Abbado’s radiant conduction of his last, greatest orchestra, the Lucerne Festival guys and gals with whom he Blu-rayed probably the finest Mahler cycle anyone has achieved. Check this vast, nutty, pantheistic extravaganza out Friday at 8PM and noon next Tuesday, six-hours-behind-Lake-Lucerne time: it’s pure entertainment, and the programmer has left a lot of explaining for the annotator to do, so if you enjoy classic radio-baritone announcing there’ll be plenty of it. He has to link the Mahler with the finisher, Sibelius’ last symphony, the 7th, in a sweeping live performance of Simon Rattle with the Royal Copenhagen (Konigslige Kapel) bunch, and he goes the “the two symphonies prominently lift adjacent phrases from the last movement of the Brahms 1st” route, which doesn’t really tell us much, so he fills in with the better-known meeting of the two composers in 1907, when Mahler, having just finished his Symphony of a Thousand, spoke of trying to include the whole world, and Sibelius, having recently completed a 3rd Symphony in which he pared away received romantic rhetoric and set sail for the eventual destination of the one-movement 7th, finished his drink and grumbled about the condensed concentration of thematic material. It works both ways, especially in performances as fine as these. Next week we’ll make with the bebop, once these polarised symphonic apotheoses get digested. (Repeat “polarised symphonic apotheoses get digested” three times fast and call me in the morning.)

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