Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 6 | Youtube: EuroArtsChannel

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The “hammer” symphony

Thursday, 8pm, Palma Auditorium, Paseo Marítimo 18, Palma.

The Austrian composer Alban Berg once said of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 6 that “notwithstanding the Pastoral (Beethoven), there is only one Sixth”. Sometimes referred to as the “Tragic”, this four-movement symphony was unusual at the time - premiered in Essen, Germany, in 1906 - for the augmented percussion. This included a hammer, the sound of which has long posed a challenge to orchestras - achieving sufficient volume but at the same time maintaining a dull resonance.

The challenge this week falls to the Balearic Symphony Orchestra.