Gergiev and Mariinsky's Mahler: The Sixth Symphony
The Carnegie Hall and US premiere of Mahler's Sixth Symphony took place on December 11, 1947, with the New York Philharmonic conducted by Dimitri Mitropoulos. The composer conducted his Sixth Symphony only three times in his career, and on the last occasion in Vienna, the title "Tragic" was printed in the program.
While so much of Mahler's music is deeply personal, and much of it despairing, in the Sixth he plumbed new depths. Long after his death, his widow recounted elaborate stories about the autobiographical meaning of the symphony, which culminates with "three blows of fate" sounded by a hammer in the last movement. The specific meaning of the Sixth Symphony will never be resolved, but its passion, integrity, and inventiveness remain extraordinarily powerful more than 100 years after its composition.
Excerpt from Mahler’s Symphony No. 6 in A minor, “Tragic” (I. Allegro energico, ma non troppo)
London Symphony Orchestra / Valery Gergiev, Conductor | LSO Live