Tonight OC was chillaxing @ la Scala for the Staatskapelle Berlin + Daniel Barenboim = awesome concerto of Gustav Mahler's 5th. Tomorrow night OC probably won't be there for the conclusion of the double-header: the Mahler 6th under the baton of Boulez, but we don't have any doubt the the Staatskapelle will perform with any less finesse than they had demonstrated tonight.
An oppressively humid afternoon, everyone arrived at the theater 20 minutes before a torrential rain hit (how appropriate a greeting for Mahler's 5th), which thankfully chased away the hot grody polluted winds that greeted us walking down to the theater. In an Ann Demeulemeester cream cotton wife-beater tank, a Paul Smith printed cotton cardigan (green and olive mini diamonds), a pair of lightweight stretch & cropped denim Seven capris, sage alligator Tod's driving shoes, and trusty LV speedles bag (and a black metro Burberry compact umbrella inside), OC arrived just as the first big drops were beginning to fall.
Barenboim was in modified summer frac, and instead of white shirt and tie, he wore a plain black nehru shirt beneath his tails. Thankfully, there was no scolding of the audience this time, and the evening unfolded without incident. The audience was mostly seniors, with full loggione intact.
Ultimately, from the trumpet to the gigantic climax, I wasn't moved. But it was nevertheless brilliant, and I was duly impressed. Barenboim led a bright, moody, and very Mahlerian orchestra. They were immense, from the bassoons to the violas with a giant and dynamic sound.
The first two movements (Trauermarsch and Stürmisch bewegt), about 15 minutes each, were constant conflicts between light and dark, turbulence and calm. The Adagietto was angst-ridden like a surly teen, and the Rondo-Finale was well-paced for the awesome climax. At the end of the concerto, the applause was insane, with constant shouts of bravi. Barenboim must have come out to acknowledge his fans like 8x. But he gave no encore, despite the audience breaking-out in hisses of ‘bis’ for his final curtain call.
On the way to the theater, there were two giant transport buses on Via Verdi from Gerhard Kanitz Orchester und Theatertransporte, stamped with line drawing representations of the Skaatskapelle that would make any fanboy cry.
Wir fahren die Gastspielreise der Skaatskapelle Berlin!!! Maybe they were transporting mountains of Eisbein and Berliner Weiße...