On Air presents Gustav Mahler’s Majestic Re-Orchestration of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony

To celebrate the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, On Air will broadcast from Vienna, the world capital of classical music for ‘the year of Beethoven’. The exclusive performance of Gustav Mahler’s Re-Orchestration of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, will be conducted by Johannes Vogel at Synchron Stage Vienna. From December 18-20th, audiences across the globe can enjoy exclusive pre-recorded performances of Synchron Stage Orchestra, a 123 member orchestra and choir. Broadcasted from a state-of-the-art recording facility the event promises high-end production, set-design and lighting, creating an innovative and immersive experience for orchestral viewing.

The event also hopes to bring a message of positivity to Vienna and beyond, in light of the tumultuous impact of 2020 on the cultural sector, as well as in recognition of the more recent tragedy the city has endured. Conductor Johannes Vogel reflects: 

“In these times of insecurity around us and our future, it is important to put out a statement of hope and joy. That we are responsible for our actions and our future. That is the spirit of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, carefully re-thought by Gustav Mahler and his orchestrations 100 years ago, heralding the 20th century with hope. Again 100 years later I take a chance and re-think the Symphony under the current circumstances and challenges to set an example of hope, joy and courage!”

Gustav Mahler’s rendition of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony was directly inspired by the modern orchestra sound at the beginning of the 20th century. The period was one of great musical development, and was characterised by the Romantic Symphony Orchestra, which saw larger line-ups of musicians. Mahler’s orchestration therefore was an adaption which reimagined the piece within its modern context, directly attuned to his own experiences. The piece sparked major discussions at the time, raising questions of whether one should be allowed to ‘rewrite’ or improve genius. This was further fuelled by growing antisemitism in Germany, which drew added scrutiny to Mahler’s bold choice due to his Jewish heritage. To Johannes Vogel, the piece represents an extraordinary insight into the meeting of two geniuses of classical composition across the passage of time. “It is about courage, about vision, about hope, about modernism, about believing in our future, and that this future lies in our own hands,” reflects Vogel, “We create our future, nobody else should!”.

The performance will be the inaugural classical music show for On Air, who have previously hosted contemporary artists. The event will air across Friday 18th, Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th of December at 8PM each evening in the following timezones: ACT, Tokyo, CET, GMT, EST, PST.

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