Mahler Symphony No. 9, Part 4
Mahler once said this to Bruno Walter, his protege and great advocate of Mahler’s works: "What one makes music from is still the whole—that is the feeling, thinking, breathing, suffering, human being”
You could almost just stop there with the last movement of Mahler 9. This is music so full of feeling, thinking, breathing, suffering, but also of also acceptance and consolation, that words fail to describe its emotional impact. But as always with Mahler, this isn’t merely an emotional outpouring, a dumping of his innermost feelings onto the audience. It is a superbly paced, beautifully written movement, and despite its 25 minute length, and very stable and slow tempo, the movement does the seemingly impossible and feels both endless and compact at the same time.
So today, while of course we’ll talk about the emotional content of the music, I want to focus a bit more on how Mahler writes this music to make it so effective, and how he finds a way to reach the peaks of expression and the epitome of using silence as music. And finally, we'll explore how and to whom Mahler says goodbye to at the end of this symphony, as everything fades away. Join us!
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