Complete Mahler Symphonies 1999-2003

This is the last section of the 4-year project¡¸Complete Mahler Symphonies¡¹co-hosted by Seoul Arts Center and Bucheon Philharmonic Orchestra.
Mahler's unfinished Symphony No.10 is followed by Symphony No.1¡¸Giant¡¹in this last section. Maestro Lim Hun-jung, acknowledged for his eminent and original interpretation on Mahler, leads the orchestra to revive the era of Mahler.
It will be your last opportunity to assimilate the lyrical melodies of Mahler after the long journey of the¡¸Complete Mahler Symphonies 1999-2003¡¹.

* When : 2003. Nov. 29 (Sat.) 7:30 pm
* Where : Seoul Arts Center, Concert Hall

* Composer : Gustav Mahler
* Conductor : Lim Hun-jung
* Orchestra : Bucheon Philharmonic Orchestra

* Program : Symphony No.10 ¡®Adagio¡¯ F# Major, Symphony No.1 ¡®Giant¡¯

* Host : Seoul Arts Center(02-580-1300), City of Bucheon
* Tickets : 20,000(S) 15,000(A)
               (20% discount for SAC Friends & Group more than 10 & Students.
               We offer Mahler symphony live recording CD.)
* Telephone Booking(Ticketlink) :
   02-780-6400(82-2-780-6400), 1588-7890(82-1588-7890)
   (Opening Hours / 09:00~20:00(Weekdays) 10:00~17:00(Weekends & Holidays))
   cf. [SAC] 02-580-1400(82-2-580-1400)
   (Opening Hours / 09:00~18:00)
    We're sorry that booking in English on internet(Ticketlink) is not possible.

* There will be an LD show and a prelude concert an hour prior to the beginning
  of the main concert for the Mahler Club memebers.

Gustav Mahler(1860.7.7 ~ 1911.5.18)

Mahler was a composer of symphonies and lieder cycles. However, during his lifetime, he was known, for the most part, as one of the world's greatest conductors. Mahler rose to prominence as musical director of the Vienna Opera, and under his leadership the VO experienced its golden age. Mahler finished his conducting career in the United States, serving with Toscanini as conductor of the Metropolitan Opera and solely as music director of the New York Philharmonic. Mahler completed ten symphonies (nine numbered works and Das Lied von der Erde) and died leaving sketches and two completed movements of a tenth numbered symphony.

The Wayfare Years
1999. 11. 27 | Symphony No.1 ¡®Songs of a Wayfarer¡¯

Wunderhorn Series
2000. 5. 30 | Symphony No.2 ¡®Resurrection¡¯
2000. 8.16 | Symphony No.4 ¡®The Heavenly Life¡¯, Mozart ¡®Exsultate, Jubilate K.165¡¯
2000. 11.28 | Symphony No.3 ¡®What Love tells Me¡¯

A Trilogy
2002. 6. 18 | Symphony No.5, Mozart Piano Concerto No.21
2002. 9. 6 | Symphony No.6 ¡®Tragic¡¯
2002. 11.29 | Symphony No.7 ¡®Songs of Night¡¯

Love and Death
2003. 5. 31 | Symphony No.8 ¡®Symphony of a Thousand¡¯
2003. 9. 6 | Symphony No.9 ¡®Farewell¡¯
2003. 11. 29 | Symphony No.10 ¡®Adagio¡¯, Symphony No.1 ¡®Giant¡¯

2003 Program Introduction

Symphony No.8 in E flat major
¡®Symphony of a Thousand¡¯

In the Summer of 1906 Mahler was troubled by thoughts of failing powers. He decided to rest but on the first day of his holiday, whilst walking down to his composing hut , "On the threshold of my old workshop, the Spiritus Creator took hold of me and shook me and drove me on for the next eight weeks until my greatest work was done." This was the Eighth Symphony. Though ideas must have been germinating for longer, the actual composition took him about six weeks. At its legendary Munich premier, which didn't take place until four years later in 1910, the Eighth proved to be the triumph of his life. This was the most immediately accepted of all Mahler's works and, as he himself predicted to Willem Mengelberg, also the most easily understandable. Though even he may have underestimated the depths of meaning the work carries. Today many people have problems with the Eighth. For some who enjoy everything else Mahler wrote, the Eighth is a "symphony too far". More used to Mahler's other works, some of today's listeners perhaps find its directness puzzling. It does seem to defy its place in Mahler's output, a feeling the audience of 1910, much less used to Mahler's other works, would not have had. If we're going to come to terms with it we should start by seeing it as the culmination of a particular genre in his output that began with "Das Klagende Lied" and continued in the later parts of the Second and Third Symphonies. Here he diverges radically from even his idea of basic symphonic scheme and we must see this strand of his work as representative of a specific "anthology technique" in which dramatic cantata, orchestral song, opera, passion and sacred oratorio become gathered together under the broadest of umbrellas. Also, since this is Mahler, that trait in his work of "significant recall" from his own works must also become part of the technique of which the Eighth is culmination. It's scored for huge a orchestra (including quadruple winds with eight horns, as well as mandolin and harmonium), off-stage brass of four trumpets and three trombones, eight soloists, a double choir, a boys choir and concert organ. In fact, at its first performance, the impresario who mounted Mahler's "Barnum and Bailey" work (Mahler's epithet) advertised it as "The Symphony of A Thousand" owing to the fact that one thousand performers took part. Do note, however, that Mahler himself never sanctioned the title you often see on record covers and concert programmes.

Symphony No.9 in D major

As we saw with Das Lied Von Der Erde, Mahler's spirits underwent renewal in his last years in spite of all that life was throwing at him. The calamities of 1907 generated a determination that life's riches should be enjoyed, even though they might be taken away at any time. His last three works, though fatally imbued with themes of his own approaching death, speak again and again of farewells that are loving and fervent, and of admiration for that which is left behind. Bitterness is there in abundance. In the central two movements of the Ninth especially. But bitterness passes in the end. Like everything, bitterness is transitory too. Deryck Cooke wrote: "It is given to very few to face fate as boldly and go down fighting as courageously as Mahler." Cooke also called the Ninth Symphony Mahler's "dark night of the soul" (a perfect description of the first movement especially) even more moving in that there is no easy giving way to despair, a fact interpreters would do well to remember. The Mahlerian love of living should shine through, even beneath the noble heartache that the last movement depicts and the horrors and personal demons that the first three dramatise.

Symphony No.10 in F sharp major

Where would Mahler's music have gone had he lived longer than fifty years? A body of opinion has maintained he would have explored the same general routes as his younger contemporaries Schoenberg, Berg and Webern. But Mahler was such an important figure to these men one wonders if their paths would have been quite the same if had Mahler lived. That he would have remained a Mahler that we would all have recognised from previous work there is I believe no doubt. Creative artists are always themselves in the end, they can't change. But that Mahler would have changed with each subsequent work he produced to the same degree he did in previous works is also surely not in doubt either. There are passages in what he left us of the Tenth Symphony that he was working on when he died in 1911 that indicate "new-out-of-old" paths which also fascinatingly seem to become born out in composers he did subsequently exert an influence over. Berg, Hindemith, Shostakovich and Britten spring to mind. Even though these composers would not have been aware of what the Tenth Symphony contained for much of their working lives. So the Tenth Symphony material left by Mahler is of crucial importance at the very least to our perception of where he was going after the Ninth Symphony and perhaps a little after that. Had Mahler lived longer it would also have been into a world that would have seen him witness immense social change. Had he survived into the late 1920s or early 1930s he would have come face to face with Nazism and who knows what effect that would have had on his music, let alone on his personal life. In the end, all speculation is futile and we must concentrate on what we have and know of his life and work as it exists.

Symphony No.1 in D major

Mahler first four symphonies are often classed as his Wunderhorn symphonies owing to thematic and emotional links with his settings of songs from the anthology of German folk poems Des Knaben Wunderhorn (Youth's Magic Horn). Strictly speaking, though, the First Symphony doesn't fulfil this criteria for inclusion as a Wunderhorn symphony as its thematic and emotional links are with Mahler's first song cycle, Lieder Eines Fahrenden Gesellen (Songs of a Wayfarer), of which both words and music were written by him under the influence of first love and rejection. But it's a useful classification because the Wayfarer songs and the First Symphony themselves do inhabit the same thought and sound world of symphonies 2,3, and 4.
(transcribed from

Mahler Symphony No.9 LD Show
* Aug.30(Sat.) 4:00pm in Seoul Calligraphy Art Museum Conference Hall (4F)
** Lecturer / Choi Eun-gyu(Violinist, Music columnist)