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Gustav Mahler

The Budapest Festival Orchestra has recently performed in German, Dutch and Austrian towns closely related to Gustav Mahler’s life. Their programme included the composer’s Ninth Symphony conducted by Iván Fischer

The orchestra, which celebrates its thirtieth anniversary this year, visited Hamburg, Vienna, Essen, Amsterdam and Munich following the late November performance of the symphony in Budapest. The Munich Abendzeitung reported on the closing concert of the event as follows: “The lyrically melodious opening of Mahler’s Ninth Symphony performed by Fischer and his orchestra was already wonderful, but then a dramatic passion, never exaggerated or forced by sensationalist and cheap effects, welled up. Not even the bad acoustic qualities of the colossal Gasteig in Munich made this excellent orchestra go wrong.”

The towns visited during the tour are all closely related to Mahler’s life, who was once the director of both the Hamburg and Viennese opera house. Amsterdam formed the core of Mahler’s music career thanks to the famous conductor Willem Mengelberg, who as one of the world’s greatest interpreters of Mahler’s works made the composer feel very close to Amsterdam. Mahler’s Sixth Symphony premiered in Essen in 1908, and Symphony No. 8 was performed for the very first time in Munich in 1910.