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BBC Proms 2009
Monday 20 July
7:00pm - 8:45pm
BBC Radio 3
Anguished premonitions of death darken Mahler's last completed symphony, the Ninth, and the ominous faltering beats of its first movement seem to echo the composer's own fatal heart disease. But it's a colossal, majestic farewell to the world and not all doom and gloom - the Adagio finale, at least, finds a stoic acceptance of fate and a sense of eternal tranquillity. The LSO plays it tonight and the warmest of Proms welcomes will surely greet conductor Bernard Haitink, a great Mahlerian who this year celebrates both his 80th birthday and the 50th anniversary of his UK debut.
Radio Times reviewer - David Gillard
From the Royal Albert Hall, Bernard Haitink conducts the London Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Gustav Mahler's Symphony No 9.
Begun in the summer of 1909, Mahler's last completed symphony was written at a time of crisis, following the loss of a daughter, his forced resignation from the Vienna Court Opera, the diagnosis of his own fatal heart disease and the breakdown of his marriage. Yet while the first movement is permeated by premonitions of death and the last fades away into nothingness, the enduring impression is one of resigned, even joyful acceptance of man's fate.
One of the world's great Mahler interpreters, Haitink celebrates both his 80th birthday and the 50th anniversary of his UK debut in 2009.
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