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Gustav Mahler

The Budapest Festival Orchestra will play Mahler’s Symphony No. 9 on 28 November and on the two subsequent days at the Palace of Arts. The ensemble will embark on a tour of Western Europe after the concerts playing in six cities (fidelio.hu)

For decades, Gustav Mahler has been very important for the Festival Orchestra, which has enjoyed great success in interpreting his compositions both in Hungary and abroad – said Júlia Váradi, the BFO’s media manager. Although the annual Budapest Mahler Festival series has come to an end, it was during the last one in 2012 that the ensemble’s recently published CD was recorded at the Béla Bartók National Concert Hall, featuring Symphony No. 5 conducted by music director Iván Fischer. Furthermore, as far as this year’s Mahler Programme is concerned, the BFO will play Symphony No. 9 on Thursday, 28 November, and also on the Friday and Saturday at the Palace of Arts; this piece of music features the ensemble’s Western European tour programme from early December as well.

Gustav Mahler finished Symphony No. 9 in the summer of 1909 and then, as recalled by the piece’s first conductor, Bruno Walter, he took the Symphony with him to New York in autumn of the same year to engross the manuscript that told of his disquiet. “He likely brought it to Vienna in the spring of 1910, but I cannot recall if I saw it back then, I got hold of it most probably only after his death” – wrote the conductor, who conducted the premier of the symphony in June 1912. Franz Willnauer, Austrian theatre historian, Mahler researcher and festival director will deliver a presentation with additional information and enigmas related to this composition at the Palace of Arts on Thursday afternoon. The theatre historian’s book written about Mahler’s activity at the Vienna opera house is a fundamental resource for research into Mahler’s work. A photo exhibition in the foyer of the Palace of Arts will also evoke memories of Mahler’s time spent in Budapest.