Gustav Mahler.


Mahler: Symphony No. 9 in D major

  • Two interpretations.

Performed by the Wiener Philharmoniker, Claudio Abbado conducting.

Gustav Mahler was superstitious. He felt that if he composed a 9th symphony, it would be his last, just as was the case with Beethoven. As it turned out, Mahler began his symphony #10, but it was not completed when Mahler died in Vienna in 1911.

There is a lot of sadness and tragedy in the Symphony #9; it is also unusual in that the final movement is an Adagio, which is unlike the other Mahler symphonies.

The second movement begins as a lovely dance, an Austrian Ländler, but it becomes distorted to the point that it no longer resembles a dance at the end.

The four movements are:

  • Mahler: Symphony No.9 In D – 2. Im Tempo eines gemächlichen Ländler. Etwas täppisch und sehr derb – Poco più mosso subito – Ländler, ganz langsam
  • Mahler: Symphony No.9 In D – 3. Rondo. Burleske (Allegro assai. Sehr trotzig – Presto)
  • Mahler: Symphony No.9 In D – 4. Adagio

Gramophone Magazine wrote about this recording as follows:

“The Vienna Philharmonic play magnificently for Abbado. The solo flautist is an artist par excellence and the horns and trumpets play splendidly throughout. Abbado’s interpretation of the great first movement is a triumph of architecture and drama.”

Here is the Mahler Symphony No. 9, with Claudio Abbado conducting the Lucerne Festival Orchestra: (Listen for all the sighs in the first movement –)

And next, just for fun and as a comparison of two interpretations, here’s Gustav Mahler’s SYMPHONY No. 9, with Leonard Bernstein conducting the Vienna Philharmonic:


Which of these two do you find more meaningful??


Tags: Gustav Mahler, Symphony #9, Abbado, Bernstein