Claudio Abbado has held a special place in my heart since high school when I first watched a DVD of him conducting the Lucerne Festival Orchestra play Mahler Symphony No. 5. I had never heard the piece before, and I had never even heard of Abbado. From the very first trumpet notes I was completely and utterly taken. I had never connected with an orchestra piece so quickly and entirely. Abbado led the orchestra with such beauty and finesse that I was awestruck. The music was alive and the musicians seemed to be genuinely enjoying themselves. To this day Mahler’s Fifth remains a favorite, and Claudio Abbado a conductor that I respect and admire.
Farewell, Maestro. You shall be missed.
For a full write-up check out Allan Kozinn’s words over at the NYTimes.