Seiji Ozawa - BSO - 1984 Proms

Seiji Ozawa and the BSO's first-ever appearance at the Proms.

Seiji Ozawa With Jessye Norman, Edith Wiens And The Boston Symphony – Live In London – 1984 – Past Daily Mid-Week Concert

Seiji Ozawa - BSO - 1984 Proms
Seiji Ozawa and the BSO’s first-ever appearance at the Proms.

Boston Symphony – Seiji Ozawa with Jessye Norman – Edith Wiens, Sopranos – The Philharmonia Chorus – Mahler: Symphony No. 2 – August 28, 1984 – BBC Proms

Another historic concert this week. This time it’s the Boston Symphony at their first-ever Proms in London, performing the massive Resurrection Symphony by Gustav Mahler.

Joining Music Director Seiji Ozawa and the BSO are sopranos Jessye Norman and Edith Wiens with the Philharmonia Chorus and a capacity crowd at the Henry Wood Promenade on August 28, 1984. It was originally broadcast over the BBC and I don’t think was re-broadcast in the U.S. – so BSO fans might enjoy this especially.

Not too much to add, certainly to a performance, any performance of the Mahler 2nd Symphony – it is probably one of the most expansive and powerful pieces of music ever written and this performance is highly charged and is greeted by overwhelming appreciation from the audience. It’s a magic as well as historic night.

Oddly, the music of Gustav Mahler really didn’t gain wide acceptance until the 1960s, when the cause was taken up by many conductors and orchestras around the world. Prior to that, there were scant few recordings, and even up until the era of the lp, there was only one performance of the symphony available on 78’s. Granted, it’s a long and involving symphony – and on the bulky 78s of the time, it was a hefty purchase.

But fortunately, over the past several decades, the music of Gustav Mahler has become a mainstay of the concert hall and his works are greeted with the enthusiasm and acceptance they didn’t receive during his lifetime.

Music fans know this symphony – probably have a half-dozen recordings of it – there are a bunch of ways to look at this symphony and it offers no end of discoveries. But if you aren’t familiar with the music of Gustave Mahler, you need to do some exploring – there is a treasure trove of truly moving and inspiring music to be had.

And his Resurrection Symphony is a good place to start.

Turn it up and enjoy.

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5 thoughts on “Seiji Ozawa With Jessye Norman, Edith Wiens And The Boston Symphony – Live In London – 1984 – Past Daily Mid-Week Concert

  1. Thank you very much for this Gordon! I have always enjoyed Ozawa’s commercial recording from a few years later. The book In Concert: On Stage and Off with the Boston Symphony Orchestra details those recording sessions. I believe they mention this earlier tour performance in there as well. Excited to finally hear it. Listening right now 🙂

    1. Do you know if Schlueter is playing on this? The Principal Trumpet sounds quite subdued for what Charlie usually sounded like in the 1980s.

      1. No, actually I don’t. I don’t know if the BSO website would have any information either.

  2. I was there! An amazing experience. Got Jessye Norman and Edith Wiens (note the correct spelling) to sign my program after the concert. A great memory.

    1. Thank you so much for the memory and thanks for the correction (it will be included shortly). And the sad reminder of Jessye Norman.

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