Mahler: Symphony No. 9
Performed by the Budapest Festival Orchestra, Iván Fischer conducting.
This is a stunning new recording by one of the undisputed contemporary Mahler interpreters, Ivan Fischer.
The Ninth Symphony was the last score completed by Mahler, and it could well be that this was how he originally meant it to be. With Beethoven’s Ninth and the unfinished Ninth by Bruckner in the back of his mind, Gustav Mahler was deeply superstitious about his own symphonies and the number nine. At least, that is what his wife Alma had to say.
But did Mahler really intend the work to be nothing less than a farewell to life, as the moving final movement seems to suggest?
Ivan Fischer writes that Mahler’s Symphony No.9 is, ”a most complex, extremely forward-looking, visionary symphony… [with] the most tragic and beautiful ending Mahler ever composed: what he shares with us is his fading awareness of our beloved world.”
According to conductor Leonard Bernstein, the last pages of the symphony are the most musically realistic description of death itself.
And Gramophone Magazine, June 2015, writes the following:
“Fischer gives us the edginess of Bernstein without his tendency to wallow. Indeed, all four movements receive interpretations in which briskness risks turning into brusqueness yet which convince on their own terms. Thanks to the band’s exalted technical standards, localized effects can be etched in without strain even at speed and it’s the small things that so often strike sparks – exposed timpani properly tuned, problematic textures rendered with airy chamber-like luminosity…[this issue] is in a very special class, a sonic dazzler, quite apart from its bold musical qualities. A potential Award-winner!”
Here’s more from Mr. Fischer:
Finally, let’s hear Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 9, with Leonard Bernstein conducting the Wiener Philarmoniker (One hour and 22 minutes)
Tags: Gustav Mahler, Symphony #9, Ivan Fischer, Budapest Festival Orchestra