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After the dust has settled

Hi Ben

I thought I'd wait a little while until the dust has
settled before I pass on a few comments on the recent
gargantuan accomplishment that was your Mahler's
Third. I truly believe that this Third will be one of
the greatest M.3 recordings committed to disc. The
depth of sound and diversity of character most
typifies the quality which you found in the musicians
and, this, for me, is the very heart of the Third and
the vital essence that places it apart from all the
others.

During the recording of the Sixth, and afterwards, I
found your interpretation of the work shockingly
powerful and terrifyingly human in its Tempo and
rubato. The Third is a completely different animal, it
is as broad in emotion and sound as the world it
imitates and you managed not only to capture its
depth, but create new sounds from old familiar
instruments - the unison ww passage ("inside the
Clarinet sound") was a revelation - this is indeed
what Mahler intended, when you remove the normality of
expectation from the instrumental sound everything is
possible, a perfect example of defamiliarisation in
action.

The key to the actual recording session seemed to be
the joy of the Fifth movement, but the living,
breathing last movement was astonishing in its breadth
and power (this time of love). It was, however, the
unbridled and undetered power of nature in the final
run-through of the First movement that possibly struck
me most. It was again terrifying but in a very
different way from the Sixth - here it is the
unconscious disregard that nature has for humanity
that causes the human anxiety - the insignificance of
our fears and dreams and hopes in the face of
something truly powerful that both liberates and
petrifies simultaneously. This was clearly present
during that "performance" and I hope that the
technical difficulties will not get in the way of the
trajectory that you created late on that Monday
afternoon - I've never heard that movement with such
direction and meaning.

I hope that these thoughts will find some place in
your remembering of the whole experience - it was, as
ever, a long journey of discovery which I feel
privileged to have been a small part of.

Thank you again Ben,
Love

John



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