Bernard Haitink may be 85 years old, but the Dutch conductor shows no sign of slowing down, and judging by his recent concerts, he is still sprightly both physically and musically. And stamina is certainly required for Mahler’s magnificent first symphony in D major, as well as youthful exuberance and the wisdom and maturity of experience.
Mahler originally called the piece ‘Titan: a tone poem in the form of a symphony’, and gave explanations for each of the movements. Although he later discarded the title, saying he didn’t want to be proscriptive, the images depicted in the music are very vivid. We hear the sounds of nature awakening after a very long winter, folksy dance music, a funeral procession around the playground theme of Frère Jaques, and finally the thunder and lightning of hell, that eventually gives way to wondrous joy. Haitink is a masterful interpreter of Mahler, and this performance with the LSO, with whom he has a long-standing partnership, should be one to relish.
The concert begins with Mozart’s Violin Concerto No.3 in G Major, K216. Mozart was just 19 when he composed the work, and it has a playful, charming grace, as well as an exquisite slow movement. It is performed by the very talented Russian-born violinist, Alina Ibragimova, who has, according to one reviewer, a ‘sweetness and purity of sound’* that should be ideally suited to interpret the young Mozart.
|What||Haitink conducts LSO and Alina Ibragimova, Barbican|
|Where||Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London, EC2Y 8DS | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Barbican (underground)|
On 14 Jun 15, 7:30 PM
|Price||£10 to £38|
|Website||Click here to book via the Barbican website|