★★★★★ Alondra de la Parra sweeps into QSO as Music Director designate.

Concert Hall, QPAC
February 27, 2016

When Mahler’s Symphony No 2 was first performed in full, reception was tepid at best. It wasn’t until Mahler himself stepped up to conduct that the ResurrectionSymphony began to gain both popular and critical traction. In Queensland Symphony Orchestra’s first Maestroprogramme of the year, the piece is in hands Mahler himself surely would have been happy with. After months of breathless anticipation and a fiercely possessive advertising campaign that took over Brisbane’s Southbank, Alondra de la Parra has finally stepped onto the stage in the role of Music Director designate. She did not disappoint. Under her hand, QSO were in fine fettle, and delivered a Resurrectionthat was both crystal clear in execution and rich in emotional colour.

The first movement, Mahler’s symphonic poem, Todtenfeier, opened the evening with dynamic grandeur. The piece, depicting a hero’s funeral, oscillated between the stately tones of a dirge and a violent, raw response to the disaster of death – here superbly worked by a union of frenetic strings and strident brass. Immediately, de la Parra proved the worth of her appointment, deftly negotiating...