Sunday, March 19, 2006

Grosse Appel, or Live from Golgotha

I have finally had time to digest the live boot of the Boulez M2, live from Vienna. Wow. First of all, European digital radio is awesome. I hope that we get the same technology there. I had to be told by my source that it was an aircheck, not a hall recording. I would buy almost any ORF-produced record if the sound were this good. The hall noise is present enough to be slightly distracting, but no worse than any of my Furtwängler La Scala Ring discs.

If you like the Mahler 2nd and Pierre Boulez, you'll buy this. It's worth it. The man, for all his postmodern celibacy, can conjure up the Resurrection with the best of them. He hits the notes, which is incredibly important. I don't know if I can say anything more. I cannot really express my feelings about the M2, so I can only discuss how well he pulls everything off. Fortissimos are loud and pianissimos are soft. In Mahler, if you can manage the dynamics, then you can create a successful record. He gets the sensibility down about right, so what else is there to say? The soloists are pretty good, or as good as any singers today can be. At least we didn't get Frau Fleming emoting all over the place and wearing obscenely strange dresses. Thank Heaven for small miracles.

Buy it. The dean of postmodernism in music creates some magic. The Vereinsaal will not forget it soon.


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