Gustav Mahler's Soul-Stirring Ninth Symphony
Wrap yourself in the haunting reveries of Gustav Mahler's orchestrally lush Ninth Symphony, as performed by Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony in the Summer of 2019. Written just four years before the iconic composer's untimely death in 1911, the heart-breaking work is a bittersweet, musical and metaphorical bridge between sound and silence, and life and death, that takes audiences on a soaring philosophical journey to an unearthly realm beyond the veil.
Whilst it deals with death, the symphony is never morbid, opening with a soft, throbbing single note on a cello that gives way to rich harmony with the addition of an answering horn, deep bass notes on a harp and a blossoming violin melody. What follows is arguably Mahler's single greatest movement - an outpouring of his love for life embodied in a vigorous and almost playful musical farewell. The musical journey that is The Ninth then ends softly with a sense of beautiful resignation that is known to leave audiences misty-eyed in hallowed silence.