Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Norrington's Mahler Prom 14

Taking shots at easy targets is not my style. So Norrington's Mahler 9 was my night off from the Proms. Norrington's approach has been interesting sometimes, like his world's fastest Meistersinger overture which really zipped along. I have a lot of time for early music zaniness. But it doesn't sustain. In the1990's I listened to some Norrington and appreciated what he was doing even if it was not my scene. In the mid 2000's there was a huge surge in popularity.  Five or 6 years ago, there were Mahler fans who thought of vibrato in pop star terms, ergo "nil" vibrato must be a good thing. Influential as these folks were, they probably hadn't heard much Mahler.  Nonetheless, I listened to the recordings of Norrington's M4 and M9 (no, that was only last year it must have been M1 in mid 2000's)  Since I don't follow fashion, I thought, yikes! (though the M4 worked surprisingly well). I caught a bit of Prom 14 by accident and thought, "He's doing exactly the same thing as he did years ago". Why is quite an interesting question. What drives him, I wonder?  I don't take potshots but here is someone who does, often on the verge of libel. Under the  nastiness there are grains of reason. Which still does not justify the nastiness so I am thinking of deleting it. After this no-one dares be seen liking Norrington so fashion has moved on. But I do think in a way we should admire Norrington for persisting in what he believes in.

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