And most everybody stayed for the Nielsen — though Jordan Hall was hardly full to start with. (Going up against the BSO’s final, sold-out concert of the season can’t have helped.) The “Inextinguishable” — composed between 1914 and 1916, its title referring to the “life force” in nature and humanity that can’t be blotted out — is in four continuous movements, and it doesn’t disclose itself too readily. Where Sibelius finds magic in the mythic, Nielsen locates it in the mundane; this is a symphony of fields and trees and mud and rocks (with the occasional squirt of mustard gas), a Tapiola without a Tapio. It too can saturate a small space (especially in the finale, where Nielsen’s big theme rises triumphantly above the dueling timpani), but McPhee, even at his usual lively clip, got fresh air moving around the orchestra, which sounded more like itself than it had before intermission, with many McPhee trademarks: the fresh-soundings winds, the unentitled brass, the firm string pizzicatos, the dance pulse, and, above all, the logic. I went in wishing they were doing the Sibelius Fourth and came out wanting to hear the Nielsen again.
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