Gustavo Dudamel & Los Angeles Philharmonic:

The Inaugural Concert!


  • John Adams: City Noir
  • Gustav Mahler: Symphony #1

This concert DVD presents the Los Angeles Philharmonic Opening Night Concert (8 October 2009) led by newly-appointed Music Director Gustavo Dudamel.

“The 28-year-old Venezuelan conductor who has been taking the musical, and conducting world by storm” (Gramophone) in his inaugural concert live from LA’s Walt Disney Hall leads the orchestra in Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 in D Major.

The first work on the program is actually John Adams’ “City Noir”; this composition is very difficult to play and to understand on first hearing. I look forward to hearing it again, so it can become more meaningful to me…

The second work is Gustav Mahler’s Symphony #1. Any Mahler lover (yes, I’m one) will have heard many different performances already. Dudamel brings some new insights to this work, and leads the orchestra to exciting heights at the right moments. This is a very good performance, and it allows the listener to hear some new, subtle passages that may have been covered up by other instruments in other performances.

Dudamel seems to have good rapport with the LA Philharmonic players, and they seem to respond in the same respectful way. His enthusiasm for music-making seem to be infectious, and the talented players of the orchestra, responded with seemingly excellent form.

During the next few months, I predict that the media music critics will come out of the woodwork and will begin to compare more closely Mr. Dudamel’s results achieved with other orchestra leaders. Then we will hear how folks compare him to the likes of Michael Tilson Thomas of the San Francisco Symphony, who has been performing and recording Mahler for years. Ditto for other, older conductors such as Bernard Heitink and others. Youth and energy are tough to beat, however. As long as Dudamel stays committed to excellence and to serving the interest of the composer and listener alike, he ought to do well…

Here is the opening movement of the Mahler First Symphony from this DVD:

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