Bernstein conducts Mahler: Symphony No. 9 (1971)
For Leonard Bernstein, Mahler’s Ninth (and final completed) Symphony represented a multi-layered farewell. As the conductor explained in an introduction to the work, its four movements saw the composer bidding farewell successively to love, to rural life, to urban life and, finally, to existence itself. Bernstein’s identification with the work, which Mahler wrote while conscious of his final illness, manifests itself in an unusually intense interpretation in this recording with the Wiener Philharmoniker, filmed in Berlin's Philharmonie. Hardly any other conductor has made the almost inaudibly quiet final moments, composed as if on the threshold of disappearing into nothing, so haunting.
- Wiener Philharmoniker
- Leonard Bernstein