the 20th Century’s most thrilling musical moment?

[/audio] The moment in Bartók’s Miraculous Mandarin ballet suite when the Mandarin, hopelessly attracted to a hapless beauty forced to lure men in a thug’s den, is chased by the thugs prior to his murder. Little sign here that the Mandarin will only be able to die when the girl offers herself to him – which eventually she does. Not so much a case of sex and violence as redeeming compassion.

Essa-Pekka Salonen conducts the Los Angeles Phil, newly reissued in DG’s 40-cd “111” The Conductors – Legendary Recordings (479 7477)

3 comments on “the 20th Century’s most thrilling musical moment?

  1. When the fifth door is opened in Bartok”s Bluebeard’s Castle? That high note and the build up towards it and subsequent consecutive major root position chords that follow?

    Or the eleven-note chord in Mahler 10 (was it eleven?).

    The very first time you heard the end of Arvo Part”s Passion, after all the quiet minor-key stillness for such a long time before?

    Many moments in Richard Strauss ‘ Alpine Symphony.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a list Rebecca! I remember hearing the Passion live in Westminster Cathedral (and interviewing Pärt for the occasion). Mahler 10 or 11? Depends you view Das Lied … as his real Ninth or a song-cycle … agree anyway. And Bluebeard, like the Mandarin, a miracle. As to the Alpine, that and Zarathustra surely Strauss’s finest tone poems. Best. Rob

    Like

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