This was without a doubt the best performance of Mahler's First Symphony.
Norrington's humor comes through and complements his superb musicianship.
The First often gets bogged down, but this performance was bright and always
exciting giving the instrumentalists enough room to show their skills... and
what skills.I have no doubt that the NHK Symphony is the greatest orchestra
at this time.I could go on and on about the French horns, and the..... It was
a delight. The Blumine was lovely. I had never heard of it and was amused to
learn that it was possibly a fifth movement to the First Symphony. One hears
too many complaints that the symphony is too long already, so it was a
capital idea to play the movement separately.

It was too bad that Mr. Henschel canceled. We missed him and have to say
that he missed a wonderful concert and a wonderful opportunity to play with
Sir Norrington and the NHK Symphony. His substitute, Katsunori Kono, baritone
did an admirable job. We wanted to cancel the concert when we found out that
Mr. Henschel would not be there, especially since there was a nasty rain. What
a treat that we didn't.

We hope Mr.Henschel sings in Tokyo, but if he ever cancels again, we will have
to revert to listening exclusively to the other Dietrich for our Mahler and I am
afraid it would put Mr.Henschel in an unfavorable light with his many fans in Japan.