Various Authors noon, Dec. 15
Mahler 5: San Diego Symphony (2 of 2)
During intermission, some opportunistic youngsters came on down and seated themselves in what they thought were unused seats in the front row of the Grand Tier. This quartet of future patrons had miscounted and were occupying the seats of Joan and Irwin Jacobs.
When the Jacobs' returned, the kids had to face the results of claim jumping. After a gracious conversation the mistake was corrected.
Can we blame these symphony banditos? Who wouldn't want to get as close as possible to Mahler's Fifth?
The performance of Mahler's Fifth was riveting yet inconsistent.
The solo trumpet which gets the monster moving was beautiful. Principal trumpeter, Calvin C. Price, nurtured the phrase and led it right into the crashing surge of the orchestra’s entrance.
However, the brass "flubbed the dub" at least a dozen times over the course of this 68 minute Goliath of a symphony, even the tuba missed one. I don't bring this up to be a tatlle-tale but neither can I simply ignore it.
However, that doesn't define their performance. There was some phenomenal playing from the brass. With a piece of music like the Mahler 5, mistakes will be made. The overall tone of the orchestra was glorious. It should be mentioned that the trombones were excellent.
By the end of the third movement, the audience was primed to be astounded. The adagietto fourth movement is one of the most beautiful and compelling pieces of music ever written and the San Diego string sections played it that way.
After the storm of the first two movements and the macabre dancing of the third, the fourth movement sounds like a miracle. It seems almost impossible that the same person had written it.
When do we ever get a chance to hear music this beautiful played live?
As great as this performance was, I think the orchestra had a better grasp on the Mahler Ninth from a season ago.