If you're a regular attendee of programs here at Walt Disney Concert Hall, you've likely seen BP Hall - it's where we usually hold out Upbeat Live pre-concert talks.
Chances are good, though, that you've never seen it packed with more than 200 members of the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela - we held a little party to welcome them to LA and to thank them for shouldering some of the load of The Mahler Project. Here's what it looked like:
If you thought last week at Walt Disney Concert Hall had a whole lot of Mahler, then get ready - this week will really knock you out. Gustavo and the LA Phil have progressed at a brisk but reasonable pace since launching The Mahler Project on JAN 13, but now that the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela has arrived and played not only THEIR first Mahler symphony with Gustavo but also the first of two performances of "Mahler's World" -- well, the only word we can think of to describe this week is "breakneck."
Here's what's happening in The Mahler Project this week:
Thursday's performance of Mahler 1 was spellbinding - especially with the powerful way it ended with the Adagio of the 10th symphony - musically "bookending" Mahler's extraordinary but brief life. The viola section was especially poignant with its utterances, I felt.
With the first weekend of The Mahler Project successfully under our belts and behind us, you probably think we're ready for a well-deserved break, right?
Not on your life.
As followers of the festival know, The Mahler Project is just getting started. In fact, after an amazing opening weekend featuring Mahler 4, "Songs of a Wayfarer" and a stirring Thomas Hampson rendition of Mahler's Rheinlegendchen for an encore on Sunday night, this week is even more jam-packed with Mahler-related goodness.