Happy Ending and Then Some in Mahler’s Second

Arthur Kaptainis, Musical Toronto

Toronto Symphony Orchestra, wth Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and guests. Peter Oundjian, conductor.


Peter Oundjian last programmed Mahler’s Second Symphony (“Resurrection”) as a rousing opener to the 2010-11 Toronto Symphony Orchestra season. It rematerialized in Roy Thomson Hall on Wednesday, marking no special occasion and celebrating nothing other than itself.

And why not? I am always up for a sermon on the life everlasting, and the great finale, made of glorious sonorities onstage and off, did not fail. Oundjian found respiration in the phrasing and drama in the entries. Brass playing was firm, woodwinds were colourful and strings had the ring of truth.

Most important, the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir  (prepared by Noel Edison) entered with breathtaking solemnity. Remarkable how gripping a pianissimo equilibrium can be.

Read the complete review online.