ArvoPärt Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten (c.7′)
Mahler Symphony No.9 (c.85′)
Donald Runnicles Conductor
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
The very first bars of Mahler’s Ninth seem to falter. The stricken composer put the rhythm of his failing heart into the orchestra – and began his Ninth Symphony with a sigh of “farewell”. But that’s the beginning, not the end, and over eighty minutes of music Mahler wrings every last drop of sweetness, terror and love from a life of total emotional commitment. Every performance of Mahler’s Ninth is a unique occasion, and given Donald Runnicles’ special relationship with late Romanticism, this will prove to be one of the highlights of our season. Peace, meanwhile, comes dropping slow in ArvoPärt’s minimalist elegy for Britten; a perfectly-chosen upbeat to Mahler’s overwhelming symphonic swansong.
Please Note: there will be no interval in this concert.
Prelude: 6.45pm in the Recital Room
Dr Jeremy Barham, author of The Mahler Companion, reflects on the composer and his influence.
There will be no coda after this concert.