It was also, by lousy luck, one of the worst evenings this summer for airborne interference. On the screen you could see Grimaud looking up as helicopters hovered again and again to disrupt her concentration. The performance that had begun spacious and profound cannot, in all fairness, be reviewed. Salonen's Mahler managed to outshout the competition at times; it was, I think, a tremendous performance.
Salonen's Mahler has become a very personal conception. He observes quite literally the music's frequent changes of pace and invitations to rubato; it takes getting used to, but it creates a fascinating, stretchy melodic line. Driving home after the concert I heard, via KKGO, Salonen's Mahler Fourth, one of his first Los Angeles recordings. That, too, is remarkable most of all for its flexibility. With no interference aside from a few semis on 101 -- mere whisperers after the massed might of LAPD's helicopter squadrons -- it sounded almost like a performance.