The Philadelphia Orchestra In Concert on WRTI 90.1: Yannick Conducts Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 9

Oct 4, 2019

Join us on Sunday, October 6th at 1 PM on WRTI 90.1 to hear The Philadelphia Orchestra peform Gustav Mahler’s last completed composition, which he lived neither to premiere nor even rehearse: his Symphony No. 9.

Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts this extraordinary work, about which Mahler said very little. It has been musicians, critics, and listeners who have invented their own “program” for the work, especially the one that makes connections with farewell and death.

Since the Mahler revival of the 1960s, in which Leonard Bernstein played a commanding role, Lenny’s views of the Ninth Symphony have been particularly influential.

Said Bernstein: “The Ninth is the ultimate farewell; the closest we have ever come, in any work, to experiencing the very act of dying, of giving it all up.”

But it’s also a kind of prophetic vision: of the end of the Romantic movement, of tonality, of the symphony itself as we know it. What’s thrilling about this music, is that it can be more than one thing at the same time. Is the powerfully moving finale a hymn to the end of all things, or an affirmative love-song to life and to mortality? Perhaps, it is both at the same time.

The work will be played without intermission, or interruption.


Mahler – Symphony No. 9 in D

I. Andante comodo

II. Im Tempo eines gemächlichen Ländlers. Etwas täppisch und sehr derb

III. Rondo—Burleske: Allegro assai. Sehr trotzig

IV. Adagio: Sehr langsam und noch zurückhaltend

The Philadelphia Orchestra

Yannick Nézét-Séguin, conductor

Gregg Whiteside is producer and host of The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcasts, every Sunday at 1 pm on WRTI 90.1, streaming online at, and on the WRTI mobile app! Listen again on Mondays at 7 pm on WRTI HD-2.