March 19, 2012 – 4:26 am

We don’t need another hero.

Click on the panels for a better view or to download artwork.

Symphony No. 9, D Major
Gustavo Dudamel conducts the Los Angeles Philharmonic [no label, 2CD]

Live at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles, CA; February 2-5, 2012. Broadcast on March 11, 2012. Unknown which date was recorded for the broadcast. Ex FM stereo.

When this was broadcast on March 11, in another part of the planet in the province of Kandahar, Afghanistan, a soldier went into a village, shot and killed 16 civilians. He is currently in the custody of US forces.

The conductor for this evening is the young and promising Gustavo Dudamel tackling the difficult Mahler’s Ninth. Was Mahler “mental” when composing the “ninth” which really wasn’t his ninth symphony? That would belong to Das Lied von der Erde (The Song Of The Earth) which he composed after the eighth. But because he did not title that his “ninth”, he composed his 10th symphony and call that the Ninth.

Nine, back then, was a number composers feared. Beethoven and Bruckner after they finished their “ninth” symphonies, they too were “spent”.

Apart from the superstitions, Mahler in 1907 had lost one of his daughters to illness at the same time discovering he had a heart condition that required no exertion. It was after this that he sat down from 1909 to 1910 to toil over his “ninth” symphony. It is also known that in his final years (Mahler passed away in 1911) he discovered his wife was having an affair. What was Mahler contemplating when he wrote the “ninth”?

The Ninth was the last symphony Mahler completed. It was also one he never performed. The four movements are generally regarded as sombre with only the second offering a slight relief in that it was a dance. Conductor Gustavo Dudamel slows the final movement so as to enhance the conflict Mahler was writing about. It clocks in at 26 minutes.

Radio host Alison Young has this to say about the last act, as the end approaches, “How do we want to leave this world? Kicking and screaming with self pity and bitterness or with dignity and gratitude?” Young says Dudamel is able to bring through Mahler’s sense of “joy, despair, anger and hope” as death approaches.

When a soldier pulls the trigger, he will feel heroic for killing the enemy. But if you think about it, unless you are in certain danger of being killed, you really have just killed a total stranger. To quote Edwin Starr, “War, what is it good for?” Or to paraphrase, “who benefits from your killing?”

The ninth is a symphony for contemplating about life and death. It is part of Mahler’s “Farewell Symphonies”.
- Professor Red

A huge thanks to jingledale who shared this recording at DIME. His lineage below:

HD Radio over FM>Sangean HDT-1 Tuner>analog cable>Realtek Soundcard>Memo Session Sound Recorder>16/44 wav>Audacity for tracking>FLAC8

Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (224 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Please Do Not Hammer The Links. Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. The tracks should still be around. Please try again later. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files.

Disc 1
Track 101. Announcer.flac 03:44 (5.9MB)

Mahler-Symphony 9 I-Andante comodo (29:31)
Track 102. Mahler-Symphony 9 I-Andante comodo - part A (11.1MB)
Track 103. Mahler-Symphony 9 I-Andante comodo - part B (12.9MB)
Track 104. Mahler-Symphony 9 I-Andante comodo - part C (13.3MB)
Track 105. Mahler-Symphony 9 I-Andante comodo - part D (9.9MB)

Mahler-Symphony 9 II-Im Tempo eines gemachlichen (16:30)
Track 106. Mahler-Symphony 9 II-Im Tempo eines gemachlichen - Part A (16.2MB)
Track 107. Mahler-Symphony 9 II-Im Tempo eines gemachlichen - Part B (10.1MB)

Mahler-Symphony 9 III-Rondo-Burleske Allegro assai (13:23)
Track 108. Mahler-Symphony 9 III-Rondo-Burleske Allegro assaiĀ  Part A (9.9MB)
Track 109. Mahler-Symphony 9 III-Rondo-Burleske Allegro assai - Part B (11.5MB)

Disc 2
Mahler-Symphony 9 IV-Adagio. Sehr langsam (26:42)
Track 201. Mahler-Symphony 9 IV-Adagio. Sehr langsam - Part A (7.0MB)
Track 202. Mahler-Symphony 9 IV-Adagio. Sehr langsam - Part B (10.3MB)
Track 203. Mahler-Symphony 9 IV-Adagio. Sehr langsam - Part C (12.4MB)
Track 204. Mahler-Symphony 9 IV-Adagio. Sehr langsam - Part D (13.0MB)

Track 205. Announcer 01:50 (2.9MB)

Total Time: 91:39m (86:04 without Announcer tracks)

One of the first recordings of Mahler’s Ninth is Bruno Walter’s with the Vienna Philharmonic from 1938. The last movement here is the fastest at over 18 minutes. A reviewer suggested this may be because the Austrians were aware Hitler was marching on Vienna and that Bruno Walter was a Jew as was Mahler. Walter was a colleague of Mahler’s. Buy the Naxos edition here.

Leonard Bernstein’s second recording of Mahler’s Ninth was with the Berlin Philharmonic in 1979. Many have praised this recording for Bernstein’s “intensely emotional performance”. The recording captures him humming along and “grunting”. Buy the Decca edition here.

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  2. Wonderful post, great sounding & neat performance!
    Thank you!
    Alex Corvini

    By Alex on Mar 19, 2012

  3. Thanks BigO! Jeff Beck has been working on Mahler’s Fifth for years and has recorded parts of it. I like his idea of doing that with guitar and only he could pull that one off.

    By jbbmusic on Mar 19, 2012

  4. Thanks Bigo for the post and thank you jbbmusic for the tip on Mr. Beck. Wasn’t aware he was at Mahler, and here’s hoping we get to hear it soon.

    By kingpossum on Mar 20, 2012

  5. Thanks BigO. a Lovely post.

    By Charl on Mar 20, 2012

  6. Thank you for this atypical but wonderful post. I would add that my favorite Mahler 9th is by the Chicago Symphony conducted by Georg Solti. I was fortunate to hear the CSO conducted by Solti perform Mahler’s 9th at Carnegie Hall. The most moving classical performance I have ever heard. Their recording of Mahler’s 5th is also amazing.

    By Johnny Kinkdom on Mar 22, 2012

  7. As a species we have a level of creativity that is bounded only by our imagination. Sadly all too often this gift is turned to methods that degrade possibilities. This is an inspirational riposte to when those base imaginings heed the callings of limited dreams. Rest all those souls damaged.

    By Creatist on Mar 22, 2012

  8. Gee, another fabulous posting! Thank you very much! Interesting guy this Dudamel, therefore it’s always nice to get a possibility to hear his work. The cover pic, however, is somewhat common… at least one of our Mahler records have the same picture, I think.

    By -jl on Mar 22, 2012

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