Author Topic: Klaus Mäkelä conducts the CSO in M5 (02/18/2023)  (Read 1088 times)

Offline erikwilson7

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 683
Klaus Mäkelä conducts the CSO in M5 (02/18/2023)
« on: February 21, 2023, 05:59:32 PM »
I attended the CSO concert this past weekend with Klaus Mäkelä conducting the Fifth, and it was really quite good. I had high expectations for the kid –– as one should –– and for the most part he knocked it out of the park.

The first movement was steady with wild outbursts, hampered only by a slight crack in the trumpet introduction (the note that is paired with the opening cymbal clash before the first tutti chord, so not as big of a deal is one might think).

Mäkelä went attacca into the second movement, a wise choice. This movement reminded me of how Bernstein does it: the fast parts are quick, wild, and spontaneous, and the softer bits are very solemn. Some messy moments in playing had to be forgiven for how exciting things were here, and when conductors pay too much attention to getting every note perfect this movement can come off as sounding micromanaged. The movement ended with an extremely loud thud on the timpani, a very jarring move. It was probably and accented sff note, as opposed to the fp in the score.

Mäkelä took about a minute before the third movement, which went off the best I've ever heard it in my life save for the horn soloist entering two bars early at one point (not a big deal to me).

The famous adagietto was mostly splendid, I would guess somewhere around 10.5 minutes. The middle section had some nice motion to it which kept things flowing lyrically as I believe Mahler intended. I didn't like the way Mäkelä micromanaged the final climax, and he precisely dictated every note in the final bars, impeccably cuing each section to build the last chord. It just felt a bit inorganic.

The finale was fantastic (and no, he didn't slow down before the big chorale). The final bars were a bit sloppy and I don't know whether to blame the CSO or Mäkelâ's erratic Mahlerian conducting, but it was exciting as all hell.

All in all, Mäkelä has got some true Mahlerian spirit in him. I cannot dismiss him based on any issues I have since he's only 27; I'm thrilled to hear how good his Mahler will be later in his life. I think the Concertgebouw is in good hands, though we should be skeptical of his inexperience.

It's weird, for the first time a major Mahler conductor is younger than myself. Life goes on...

Offline barryguerrero

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1349
Re: Klaus Mäkelä conducts the CSO in M5 (02/18/2023)
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2023, 07:04:54 PM »
It's good to hear a good report on his conducting the CSO in M5. I've watched a number of Youtube videos with him conducting various different composer's works. Those videos do absolutely nothing for me. My impression is that he isn't much more than a standing, breathing metronome. I'm glad to hear he got the C.S.O. galvanized for a work they already know so well. I think it's positively absurd that he's been handed the Concertgebouw at this point, but I don't wish him any ill will either. Time will tell if he has ANYTHING interesting or slightly new-ish to contribute. He can certainly keep time - I'll give him that.

Offline erikwilson7

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 683
Re: Klaus Mäkelä conducts the CSO in M5 (02/18/2023)
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2023, 02:22:58 AM »
I also think it was a ridiculous move to hand over the Concertgebouw to him, but it certainly generated press. He isn’t bad at all, and his Mahler is fine. There were many better choices out there though. How about a woman?

I haven’t watched many videos of Mäkelä, but I will tell you this: he was very fun to watch. It reminded me a lot of the cartoonish sketches of Mahler conducting. I do feel he was able to pull a lot of energy out of the CSO that night, and I’ve been a bit disappointed the last two times I saw their Mahler (Alsop M8 and Orozco-Estrada M3). This was the best CSO has done Mahler since Honeck did M5 with them back at the beginning of 2018. My opinion, of course.

Offline barryguerrero

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1349
Re: Klaus Mäkelä conducts the CSO in M5 (02/18/2023)
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2023, 04:10:56 AM »
That's too bad about Orozco-Estrada. I think the Youtube video of him doing M3 in Frankfurt is really very good. I don't know if you've seen it. I very much like his recording of M1 with the Vienna Tonkunstler on Preiser.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSBfEPAnDsY
« Last Edit: February 22, 2023, 04:12:55 AM by barryguerrero »

Offline erikwilson7

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 683
Re: Klaus Mäkelä conducts the CSO in M5 (02/18/2023)
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2023, 05:34:52 AM »
Yes, I love that one. To be honest, he conducted just as well as that when I saw the CSO M3, but I attended a Sunday afternoon matinee and the CSO was a bit sloppy which is what contributed to my opinion.

Either way, it’s still Mahler and I still had a great time.

Offline Roland Flessner

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 195
Re: Klaus Mäkelä conducts the CSO in M5 (02/18/2023)
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2023, 01:53:28 AM »
I attended the Mäkelä/CSO M5 concert the previous Thursday, and also found it a strong, well-thought-out performance, with which I have just a few quibbles. I thought I’d be the last person who would ever say this, but the tamtam was a bit too loud in the first movement; it is, after all, marked pianissimo. The CSO has a wonderful instrument that sounds terrific even on the soft taps. Other than the occasional sloppy moments that are all but inevitable in a live concert, it was a satisfying performance, and I doubt I’ll hear one I like better one any time soon. (And yes, Honeck was excellent a few years ago.)

A lighthearted postscript: One day last week I grabbed a sandwich for lunch at the Potbelly that is adjacent to Orchestra Hall. Some of the CSO musicians, apparently on break from a rehearsal and dressed like farmers, were chowing down at one of the tables. I didn’t interrupt their lunch.

Offline barryguerrero

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1349
Re: Klaus Mäkelä conducts the CSO in M5 (02/18/2023)
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2023, 04:02:48 AM »
Thank you for that update, Roland. I'm glad to hear Makaela was able to impress in a city that has heard more than its fair share of Mahler 5 performances.

 

SMF spam blocked by CleanTalk