After such a performance, Mälkki can deservedly add the paradigm “exemplary educator” to her already impressive resumé.
“Sunday afternoon, with the lawn bathed in sunlight, Mälkki led the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus through an exhilarating tour of the landmark symphony, seeing the season out in style… The orchestra delivered a performance to take pride in, with the first few movements punctuated memorably by the precise and powerful timpani accents of percussionist Toby Grace; the second movement scherzo was light on its feet without sacrificing gravitas. The Tanglewood Festival Chorus was also on its game. The “Ode to Joy” melody that you’re probably humming right now practically sings itself, but the chorus clearly spent some time shaping and tweaking the phrasing and dynamics within that familiar tune, and the work paid off. As the last note gave way to applause, Mälkki could be seen congratulating the musicians with well-earned bravos.”
“Helmed by the outstanding Susanna Mälkki in her debut with the orchestra, they gave a truly remarkable performance of the Ninth. Just listening to the music without seeing the young, attentive and enthusiastic faces, there is no way one could have determined that this is not an ensemble with years of practice together. Initiated by a calm crescendo, the first movement quickly acquired a Sturm und Drang quality. Any missing dolcezza here was compensated in abundance by the strings’ performance and their interplay with the winds in the divine Adagio. With her trademark precise and elegant gestures, Mälkki helped the instrumentalists faultlessly navigate through the dancing counterpoint of the Scherzo…
After such a performance, Mälkki can deservedly add the paradigm “exemplary educator” to her already impressive resumé.”