There is much emotional baggage still attached to Mahler's Resurrection Symphony No 2, for any of us who were present at Symphony Hall's opening concert in 1991.
But in spite of any such memories, Jaap van Zweden?s performance with his Netherlands Symphony Orchestra was definitely one for the book ? a performance of satisfyingly gargantuan proportions.
A dark funeral march is the core of the first long movement, featuring violent outbursts interlaced with gentle reflective passages. From the very outset, biting strings set the pace, cellos overcoming their anxiety in initial unison snarls with admirable aplomb.
Truly thrilling timpani were spine tingling as two players lifted the huge forces to hairraising proportions.
Temporary relief from angst came with a charming L?ndler, the conductor unobtrusively handling sudden changes of mood with great sensitivity.
Imaginative, colourful solos from woodwind and leader Uta Kunert greatly enhanced the texture. The positioning of a great phalanx of horns made for a wonderful stereo effect with their opposite numbers.
Off-stage horn calls and bizarre march were magical, suitably distant with perfect haunting echoes. Maestro van Zweden certainly has the measure of this hall as he risked exceptional pianissimos to accompany fine mezzosoprano Christianne Stotijn.
No problems with pitch for The Leeds Festival and Philharmonic choruses. Awkward, subtle key shifts were handled carefully, providing a perfect canvas for the angelic voice of soprano Sarah Tynan rising from a final hymn, leading onwards towards an ecstatic up-lifting conclusion.