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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Mahler’s Symphony No. 1

Museu Calouste Gulbenkian / Lisbon / Music

The Finnish conductor Hannu Lintu leads the Gulbenkian Orchestra in the symphony often billed (on questionable authority) as the “Titan.” Shot through with quotations from the composer’s hummable cycle Songs of a Wayfarer, it tends to leave audiences very happy. The program opens with Anton Webern’s Passacaglia, op. 1, which despite its Baroque-sounding title consists of a theme and 23 variations in a late-Romantic style that is likewise easy to love. But for many, the evening’s pièce de résistance is sure to be Richard Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder. Wagner’s operas are set to libretti of his own. Here, instead, he chose mystic verse by the patroness who also inspired Tristan und Isolde. Her poetry wasn’t distinguished, but never mind. Wagner gave it rapture. Lintu’s radiant compatriot Karita Mattila sings. —M.G.

Museu Calouste Gulbenkian Av. de Berna 45A, 1067-001 Lisboa, Portugal
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