GUSTAV MAHLER - Symphony No. 9

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GUSTAV MAHLER - Symphony No. 9 - Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra - Daniel Harding (Conductor) - 3149020225820 - Released: March 2018 - Harmonia Mundi 902258

By the time Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) was writing his Symphony No. 9 in D Major, there is no doubt that his orchestration and development skills had attained a level so high as to be immeasurable. For example, it's hard to understand how emotionally gripping the final movement is when you consider that it's built on nothing else but an endless series of Doppelschlag (gruppettos or turns), with the last one inverted to obtain resolution. When you follow along reading the score, you can't help but notice that the depth of detail for each and every individual instrumental part is practically organic. And it's that level of detail, particularly in the first movement, that makes this symphony the monumental achievement it is. And conductor Daniel Harding, as I had pointed out in this review of the Symphony No. 6, has the uncanny ability to make what may seem like inconsequential details rise up to the surface, and turn them into significant structural elements crucial to the unfolding musical narrative, which help elucidate the listener's grasp of a whole movement. Harding may not go for the emotional jugular here as much as he did in his 'live' account of the Sixth, but effectively stresses details that will make you experience this symphony under a new light.

Jean-Yves Duperron - March 2018