Birmingham Mahler Cycle: Kindertotenlieder

Thursday 10 February 2011 at 7.30pm

Symphony Hall, Birmingham +44 (0)121-780 3333

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Karl-Heinz Steffens  conductor
Christianne Stotijn  mezzo

Schubert: Symphony No. 8 (Unfinished) 22′
Mahler: Kindertotenlieder 23′
Dvořák: Symphony No. 7 38′

From the heart…to the heart. In Central Europe, the sweetest melody can express the darkest feelings, and tonight three supreme Central European masters take us on three unforgettable emotional journeys. Schubert’s ‘Unfinished’ symphony overflows with glorious tunes, but it’s almost as powerful for what it leaves unsaid. Dvorák poured all his national pride into the greatest of all his symphonies – a masterpiece even finer than the ‘New World’. And Gustav Mahler came to terms with fatherhood with some of the most heartfelt songs he ever wrote. www.cbso.co.uk

The CBSO is sad to learn of the death of Sir Charles Mackerras, who was to have conducted this concert. The performance is dedicated to his memory.

Review by Geoff Read, MusicWeb-International:

http://www.musicweb-international.com/SandH/2011/Jan-Jun11/cbso1002.htm

…”Any blame as to the shortcomings or otherwise of this Kindertotenlieder could not be laid at the CBSO or Steffens – their backing was exemplary throughout. […]

The two symphonic works from Steffens and the CBSO were quite different in their impact. While the ‘Unfinished’ was somewhat staid and mechanical, the Dvořák was stimulating and flamboyant. […]

The scratch team of Steffens and guest French leader Philippe Honoré had formed an instant bond with the CBSO; it was they who made the evening worthwhile.”

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