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Parsifal
Mahler 2nd - Berkeley, TONIGHT - May 3 2014

OK, there are few musical performances that will leave a permanent mark on my soul.

This is one of them.

I was present for the recording of Thomas' Mahler 2nd a few years ago at Davies. This was by accident, since I simply bought tickets to enjoy. When I sat down, I saw a trellis work of girders to hold the forest of mikes. It was pretty good. Last night (Fri), UC Berkeley Symphony performed this same work. The choral work from this group was superior. It is kinda like the difference between a harp and a bell. SF was rather lush but inexact, like a harp string. The UCB chorus was clear and pure, more like a bell. It was remarkable, and one I will not soon forget. There was a reception, and I regret that I was not able to thank the choral director (I did not know that there was a thing called the 'alumni' choir). 

It was not totally sold out, so you still have a chance for tickets. 8AM in Hertz Hall on the UCB campus. $20, cash. I got to sit a half dozen feet from the conductor, and heard the exact same thing he heard. From this perspective, I had an entirely different experience. If you miss this one, you will have truly missed out on something truly fabulous. 

OK, what is the connection, Mahler and Wagner? Easy. Mahler became famous for his sumptuous Wagner productions, including the legendary Tristan performances with the Roller sets at the Vienna Hofoper.