In Tuesday’s (5/19) New York Times, Anthony Tommasini writes, “The audience at Carnegie Hall on Sunday afternoon gave Daniel Barenboim and the musicians of the Staatskapelle Berlin a rousing ovation even before the orchestra began its performance of Mahler’s Ninth Symphony. With this program, devoted to that single 80-minute work, the orchestra concluded its survey of all nine completed Mahler symphonies, as well as the Adagio from the unfinished 10th Symphony; Mahler’s great song symphony, ‘Das Lied von der Erde’; and several orchestral song cycles, all performed over 12 days. On a technical level this historic orchestra, whose roots go back 450 years, may not rival the world’s greatest ensembles. But the Mahler cycle is the toughest marathon in symphonic music, and there was a sense of event in the hall as this dedicated, accomplished orchestra completed the series over the weekend. …The most glowing playing, especially from the string section, came when it counted, in the sublime final Adagio, beautifully shaped by Mr. Barenboim. The ensuing ovation went on for 10 minutes.”

Posted May 20, 2009