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

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Gustav Mahler with one of his daughters in 1907, Vienna

Join us on Sunday, May 23rd at 1 PM on WRTI 90.1 and Monday, May 24th at 7 PM on WRTI HD-2 to hear The Philadelphia Orchestra perform Gustav Mahler’s last completed composition, which he lived neither to premiere nor even rehearse: his Symphony No. 9.

Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducted this extraordinary work back in 2019, 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.

Listen on-demand here. Also, find out about upcoming Mahler events presented on the Orchestra's Digital Stage

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.

Detailed program notes from the 2019 concert are here.


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 WRTI.org, and on the WRTI mobile app!Listen again on Mondays at 7 PM on WRTI HD-2.

Gregg was the host of WRTI's morning drive show from 2012 until his retirement from WRTI in January, 2021. He began producing and hosting The Philadelphia Orchestra In Concert broadcasts in 2013, joining the Orchestra in Hong Kong for the first-ever live international radio broadcasts from that island in 2016, and in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem for two historic broadcasts in 2018. You can still hear Gregg as host of the Orchestra broadcasts every Sunday and Monday on WRTI.