Monday, February 28, 2011

Do late works really sound late?

My column for the March issue of Standpoint Magazine is based on the pre-concert talk I gave for Mahler's Ninth Symphony in Birmingham a few weeks ago, in the CBSO's My Mahler series. The question - which also takes in Mozart, Schubert, Schumann and a bit of cultural conditioning - is whether a composer's late works sometimes really do 'sound late', even if the composer is not exactly over the hill. And if they do, why and how is this possible? No answers on postcards, but I hope you enjoy the piece.