What begins as a good-natured waltz turns to burlesque and then in turn to the majesty of broad, sunlit uplands before it gradually falls away, little by little, into eternal silence. The composer wrote the symphony knowing that he was ill, and it is shot through with intimations of mortality.
The composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein, whose centenary is marked in 2018 and who did much to bring Mahler’s music to world attention, wrote: “It is terrifying and paralysing, as the strands of sound disintegrate … in ceasing, we lose all. But in letting go, we have gained everything.”
Completed in 1909, the symphony was actually the composer's tenth such work. It calls for massive resources, making it a very spectacular piece to witness live in the concert hall, and features many of the composer's distinctive references to the folk traditions of his native land and big sweeping phrases.
|What||Mahler's Ninth Symphony, Royal Festival Hall|
|Where||Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Waterloo (underground)|
On 30 Nov 17, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM
|Price||£11 - £55|
|Website||Click here for more information and booking|