Mahler’s Sixth Symphony

Brett Dean

Dramatis personae


Symphony No. 6 in A minor

Håkan Hardenberger (trumpet)
Boston Symphony Orchestra
Andris Nelsons (conductor)

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Reviewed: 29 July, 2020

Tonight’s prom finds two contrasting heroes sharing the limelight in an evening of musical drama from the Boston Symphony Orchestra and its then new Chief Conductor, Andris Nelsons. Brett Dean’s trumpet concerto Dramatis personae, composed for tonight’s soloist, Swedish virtuoso Håkan Hardenberger, assigns all roles to the trumpet, casting him by turns as fallen superhero and accidental revolutionary.

Mahler’s Sixth Symphony sees the composer himself as cursed hero – one, he explained, ‘on whom fall three blows of fate, the last of which fells him as a tree is felled’. The conclusion may be a tragic one but there are also scenes of beauty and joy in a work that includes a glowing theme associated with Mahler’s wife, Alma.

Read Past Reviews on the Classical Source

(From BBC Proms 2015, 22 August)

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