Tuned In: Mahler Symphony No 9

Thursday 3 February 2011 at 7.30pm

Symphony Hall, Birmingham +44 (0)121-780 3333

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Andris Nelsons  conductor
Stephen Johnson  presenter

Mahler: Introduction to Mahler’s Ninth Symphony, with live orchestral examples 30”
Mahler: Symphony No. 9 87′ Listen
requires Real Player

Few symphonies tell a story as rich as that of Mahler’s Ninth. So join
presenter Stephen Johnson, conductor Andris Nelsons, and the full
CBSO, for the latest in the CBSO’s acclaimed Tuned In series of
concerts-with-a-difference. In the first half, Stephen (with a bit of help
from Andris Nelsons and the orchestra) uncovers the many layers of
Mahler’s last symphony – the hidden codes, the tricks of Mahler’s trade,
and the personal stories behind the notes. Then, after the interval,
there’s a full performance of the Symphony. Whether you’re a Mahler
first-timer, or you’ve known the Ninth for years, every performance of
this piece reveals something new. Tonight, we’ll help you find your own
way into the ultimate Romantic symphony.

Special prices apply: £20 all areas.

Review by John Quinn, MusicWeb:


… “Nelsons and his superb orchestra brought out all the passion in the first movement. There was a great deal of ardour and commitment in the music making and the powerfully projected climaxes were distinguished by dramatic, biting playing. At times the music sounded hedonistic and truly abandoned, and surely that’s right. However, I must immediately record that the quieter passages – and there are many of them – in which Mahler’s orchestral textures are often very spare, were rendered with finesse. The last few pages were superbly controlled and Nelsons ensured that the spell remained unbroken for a good length of time after the music had ceased.” …

Review for Wednesday night’s performance, by Stephen Walsh, ArtsDesk:


Review for Wednesday night’s performance, by Ivan Hewett, Telegraph:


…”Abetted by the super-sharp acoustic of Birmingham’s Symphony Hall, the orchestra made a thrillingly vivid sound – which was wonderful in the impassioned episode in the first movement.” …

Review for Wednesday night’s performance, by Andrew Clements, Guardian:


Review for Wednesday night’s performance, by Christopher Morley, Birmingham Post:


…”And no-one could possibly imagine the subsequent performance of Mahler’s Ninth Symphony was Nelsons’ first-ever. His grip over its huge paragraphs and almost hallucinatory shifts in expression revealed a total immersion in this valedictory masterpiece as he guided us so patiently to its fading conclusion…

It goes without saying that his CBSO players responded with sumptuous depth of tone and well-characterised incidentals.” …

Review for Wednesday night’s performance, by Fiona Maddocks, The Observer:


…”Nelsons squeezed incisive, analytical zest out of each fresh idea with near frenzied intensity. No wonder he needed water as the orchestra retuned halfway through. If this, with its tendency towards heady extremes, is a young man’s high-octane Mahler – and it is, thrillingly – think how it will ripen. The CBSO strings, especially the second violins who launch the raucous ländler and carry the whispered final notes, deserve danger money.” …

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