* Late November and early December have been busy Mahler months, with the CBSO performing Mahler 5 in Birmingham and Riga, and Mahler 4 performed by the LPO.  A selection of review quotes/links follows…

The Birmingham Post, 26 November 2010, 5 stars:

“Tuesday’s account (of Mahler’s Fifth Symphony) in Symphony Hall was a genuine progress from darkness… to light, in a finale where all involved danced skittishly and exuberantly under Nelsons’ baton, which seems to disappear more and more, as this conductor more talented than he knows relaxes into his role as music director of one of the world’s greatest orchestras.  Read more.

The Guardian, 24 November 2010, 4 stars – read here.

Chris Morley of the Birmingham Post travelled with the CBSO to Riga, and his article about the concerts is here.  You can also read viola player Julian Robinson’s CBSO tour blog about the performances in Latvia here.

*  The Birmingham Mahler Cycle continued on 13 October with Mahler 3, conducted by Vassily Sinaisky.  Click here to read the thoughts of Birmingham Post reviewer Elmley de la Cour.  Add your thoughts in the comments section below if you were there.

*  Below are some quotes from and links to reviews of the first concert in the Birmingham Mahler Cycle, Symphony No. 8 performed by the CBSO and music director Andris Nelsons.

Financial Times, 19 September 2010, 4 stars:

“Nelsons conveyed a sense of the epic: how could he not, with the women’s choirs arranged antiphonally along the side-galleries, so that Symphony Hall itself became a performer?… Birmingham’s Mahler cycle could not have made a better start.”  Read more…

Birmingham Post, 19 September 2010:

“And behind this huge triumph was Nelsons, busy, brimming with enthusiasm … exhorting and inspiring.”  Read more… 


Norman Lebrecht’s blog, 17 September 2010:

“Britain’s second largest city launched its first Mahler cycle last night with a heart-stopping concert of the eighth symphony…  The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra is in effulgent sonic form and the city itself seems to be in love with the ever-twinkling Latvian conductor…”  Read more…


Guardian, 20 September 2010, 4 stars:

“It was not just the sensation of being wrapped around by voices that was spine-tingling, or the ethereal beauty of Carolyn Sampson’s Mater Gloriosa, and then blazing brass from the hall’s highest galleries that made for a remarkable aural experience, but hearing the hundreds of voices at their infinitesimal quietest and feeling the gentle vibrations of sound permeate air.”  Read more…


The Times, 20 September 2010, 5 stars:

“I hope Andris Nelsons has some good ideas about how to conduct Mahler’s other symphonies… after this stupendous opening concert: a performance of the Eighth Symphony that shook the rafters, exhilarated the senses [and] stirred the soul…” 


Let us know what you thought of the concerts by leaving a comment below.


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