Mahler 3rd: NHK Symphony

Tonight, NHK surprised me with a wonderful performance of Gustaf Mahler's 3rd symphony.

Recorded on February 11, 2011, conducted by Myung-Whun Chung, with Mihoko Fujimura, alto & the New National Theatre Chorus The Little Singers of Tokyo.

I am told Myung-Whun Chung is not so popular in South Korea these days as he is strongly supporting the current president. Well, I'm glad to hear that he can showcase the very best of Korean sensitivity and contribute on the world scene. How muddled things can get when we turn to the political realm. Not so fast, do calm down.

(6th mov- - VI. Langsam. Ruhevoll. Empfunden)

I was enjoying Chung's conducting of Mozart and Bruckner back in 2007. But tonight, in the NHK interview, I noted that Chung spoke in English (So did American/Swedish conductor Herbert Blomstedt, who was born and has spent most of his career in the United States). A German conductor (Markus Stenz?) spoke in German, of course. Why didn't Chung speak in Korean? NHK clearly does not mind, they have plenty of interpreter. But why does not a Korean conductor speak in his own native language? A lot of Japanese people are studying Korean and speak the language, which at least grammatically is rather similar to Japanese. One would hope that culture and music could be a bridge between these two countries.


Pandabonium said…
Wonderful. Thanks for posting this.

Chung spoke in English as I asked him to for my benefit. :)
Martin J Frid said…
An amazing moment as shown by NHK, I do hope others will get a chance to learn more about classical music, I am very fond of this particular era. Glad you liked it P.

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