With his Symphony No. 9, Mahler bade ‘farewell to all those he loved and to the world. And to his art, his life, his music,’ claimed Willem Mengelberg, chief conductor of the Concertgebouw Orchestra from 1895 to 1945. At the same time, the symphony is an ode to the beauty of life. This extremely personal work has always had great significance for the Concertgebouw Orchestra. The performance on Bernard Haitink’s last Christmas Matinee, in 1987, is still etched in the minds of many. Now Daniel Harding leads the orchestra in the Ninth – first in Amsterdam, then on tour in Abu Dhabi, Spain, England and Switzerland.
Mahler’s exploration of the borders between life and death, beauty and pain, inspired the young Dutch composer Rick van Veldhuizen to compose mais le corps taché d'ombres, a beautiful companion piece to Mahler’s Ninth, commissioned by the Concertgebouw Orchestra and the Mahler Foundation.