What doesn’t kill you will make you fat, the Venezuelans are said to joke.
With a day off in Caracas between performances of Mahler’s Ninth Symphony on Saturday night and Mahler's Fourth on Monday night, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, on its first visit here, got a taste of that saying, so to speak. This is not a town in which a visitor might safely roam, and especially not on an election day, as Sunday was. So the players took it easy in their hotel.
Because raw foods and unpeeled fruit are not recommended (there has already been a case of food poisoning), available Venezuelan cuisine has tended toward things high in fat and calories. Sugar is plentiful. But maybe that hasn’t been such a bad thing.
The performance of the Mahler Fourth had a relaxed but potent sweetness Monday in the Teatro Teresa Carreno that it hadn’t when Gustavo Dudamel began his Mahler Project with the symphony at Walt Disney Concert Hall exactly one month earlier.