Mr. Salonen's performance managed to convey the piece as a whole, as a cogent entity. While the sudden emotional shifts of the music came though, both the passages of ruminative quiet and the tumultuous outbursts, so did the compelling narrative arch. Maybe it was the informal outdoor atmosphere, but this epic symphony just swept right by, seeming almost succinct.
Musicians often bite off more than they can chew. It's a problem for a critic who would like to acknowledge honorable but who much also report results. In choosing this work to perform at the Bowl, Salonen may have overestimated both his ability to get this many musicians together in limited rehearsal time as well as the venue's capabilities for doing the work justice.Which is to say that Tuesdays performance sounded like an approximation, at least much of the time.. . .We don't need to get into the performance in much detail. It sounded like a second run-through, more or less, with a good deal of ensemble work left to do. In a word, it was sloppy.