Beethoven: Symphony No. 9
1895 Gustav Mahler Orchestration
Cover painting by P. Craig Russell
Mahler’s grand expansion of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony employs an extra 4 horns and an extra set of Timpani, revoicing many passages of the venerable masterpiece. Mahler adds occasional counter-melodies and thickens the scoring in order to create his own heightened dynamic scale. Of his own performances of this re-scoring, Mahler wrote: "Far from following any arbitrary purpose or course, but also without allowing himself to be led astray by tradition, (this conductor) was constantly and solely concerned with carrying out Beethoven’s wishes in their minutest detail, and ensuring that nothing the master intended should be sacrificed or drowned out amid the general confusion of sound."
“Mahler’s editing adds a heft and sumptuousness to this symphony that it didn’t have before, upping the bombast level a few degrees but also adding new perspectives of comprehension. The recording is resonant and detailed.” - The Bakersfield Californian
“Its playing in the fourth movement is the most joyous I have heard. This is now one of my favorite recorded ‘Ninths.’” - The Buffalo News