When Gustavo Dudamel began his tenure as our Music Director, we played Mahler 1. It's already over two years later and here we have Mahler 1 again. But this time, especially after Thursday night's emotional performance, his interpretation has taken on a new glow and refinement. We've become his orchestra - with lightning-quick reflexes, sensitivity and virtuosity.
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.
Friday morning we played through most of Mahler 8 with the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela. It was a lot of fun to meet these talented and enthusiastic musicians. Wow! What a mighty sound when you combine two powerful orchestras - just wait until we add hundreds of chorus singers!
The performance at the Shrine Auditorium on FEB 4 could turn out to be the concert highlight of the young year. For a professional musician it doesn't get much better or exciting than this!