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NSO: Mahler

NSO: Mahler

NSO Season

NSO: Mahler

National Symphony Orchestra
Anja Bihlmaier conductor

Mahler Symphony No. 9 

The 2024-2025 Season ends with a monumental work, the ‘ferocious outburst of fiendish laughter at the futility of everything’ (Deryck Cooke) that is Mahler’s Ninth Symphony. At the helm, the ‘passionate and ever-energetic’ Anja Bihlmaier who gave audiences ‘a night to remember’ (Bachtrack) with Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony last season.

Raging against the dying of the light, Mahler’s colossal last work is a mercurial struggle between his lust for life and fear of encroaching death. The result is heart-breaking and filled with exultant tongue-in-cheek humour, the blackest of moods, and the slow, serene leave-taking of its hushed ending.

Did you know?

The Ninth was the last of Mahler’s symphonies to be completed. He didn’t live to see it performed.

He composed it aware of his failing health from a bacterial infection of the heart and the pneumonia that claimed his life, aged 50, in 1911.

Listen out for…

The irregular opening heartbeat rhythm of cellos and French horn. It will return   throughout the first movement, including a forceful repeat precipitating its end.

The Ländler country dance and trio of themes in the second movement: the first with clarinets and horns answering bassoons and violas; the second a frenetic waltz on drunken strings; the third, on violins and oboes, lilting and wistful.

The mocking clarinets in the momentary calm of the unsettled third movement.

The gentle and fragile strings-rich melody that begins a finale that repeatedly surges and falls back before evaporating into silence. 

Presented by NCH

Book Now
Friday 30 May 2025
Main Stage
€15, €26.50, €33, €39, €45

Discount Multi-Buy Packages Available Here

Pre-Concert Talk: 6.15pm – 7pm

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