Mahler - Symphony No.9
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Label: Challenge Classics
Cat No: CC72636
Number of Discs: 2
Release Date: 26th May 2014
ArtistsDanish National Symphony Orchestra
This outstanding recording of Gustav’s Mahler’s ninth and last completed symphony is performed by the Danish National Symphony Orchestra under the baton of the highly-rated conductor Michael Schønwandt.
Danish conductor Michael Schønwandt studied piano, theory and composition at the Royal Academy of Music in London. In 1979 he secured a post as permanent conductor of the Royal Opera in Copenhagen, and has been Music Director of the Royal Danish Orchestra since 2000. His work in contemporary opera has included conducting the world premiere productions of Poul Ruders’ operas 'The Handmaid’s Tale' and 'Dancer in the Dark'.
Schønwandt also served as chief conductor of the Berliner Sinfonie-Orchester from 1992 to 1998, and in May 2009 was named principal conductor of the Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic. He has made critically acclaimed recordings of the Symphonies and Concerti of his compatriot Carl Nielsen, as well as several opera recordings, including one of Richard Strauss’ Salome. He has also recorded the complete symphonies of Niels Gade and his interest in contemporary music has led him to conduct first performances of music by several present day Danish composers. Other world premieres that he has conducted include Henze’s Violin Concerto No.3 and, most recently, György Kurtág’s 'Concertante'.
The Danish National Symphony Orchestra was founded as a radio orchestra in 1925 in connection with the launch of the Danish Broadcasting Corporation, and consists today of 99 musicians. The orchestra is based in the spectacular DR Concert Hall which was inaugurated in 2009.
Gustav Mahler's Ninth Symphony is often viewed as a valedictory work, a final statement from the last symphonic master of the Austro-German musical tradition. Mahler had been severely traumatised by the death of his four year old daughter in 1907, and it was that tragic event which formed the background to the composition of the ninth symphony. In the same year Mahler himself was diagnosed with the heart condition that would kill him four years later.
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