This rare gem from the archives of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra features a live recording with the great conductor Leonard Bernstein. Mahler was one of the composers that Bernstein focused on with great intensity in the last years of his life. This performance of Mahler's deeply emotional ninth symphony adds a new facet to our understanding of the special relationship between these two greats of musical history. The performance was recorded live at the Mann Auditorium in Tel Aviv in August, 1985.
As the last completed symphony that Mahler wrote, the Ninth has often been heard by audiences as the composer’s swan song: a nostalgic, moving farewell from a composer conscious of his own mortality. This interpretation is of course easily justifiable, as etched into the musical fabric of the symphony are references to the tragedies that befell the composer in the years before his death.
A host of accomplished conductors including Daniel Harding, Daniele Gatti, Bernard Haitink and Eliahu Inbal lead the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in these performances of Mahler's Symphonies Nos. 1-10. Recorded in Amsterdam over two seasons in 2010/11, the collection also includes 'Das Lied von der Erde'.
Conductor Jascha Horenstein has long been regarded as one of the finest exponents of the music of Gustav Mahler. His 1952 studio recording of the Ninth Symphony was the first such recording to be commercially released (the 1938 Walter was partly or entirely live; a 1950 studio effort by Scherchen only appeared long after it was recorded). A small handful of other recordings, made between the mid-1950s and the late sixties and generally live, have appeared over the years, but never this particular rendition from the Vienna Festival of 1960 which, over three weeks, celebrated Mahler's centenary.