Mahler inherited the romantic conception of music as an expression of a quest for spiritual reality ... he expressed a four-sided conflict between a devouring love of life, a spiritual need, a skeptical intellect, and an existential dread of ultimate meaninglessness. -- Encyclopaedia Britannica.
In this great work, Mahler experimented with the four-movement symphonic form, producing a masterpiece of musical innovation, satiric writing, and poetic drama expressed in purely instrumental terms. Alban Berg referred to the first movement of the Ninth Symphony as the most glorious Mahler] ever wrote, and further observed, the whole movement is based on a premonition of death which constantly recurs ... that is why the tenderest passages are followed by tremendous climaxes like new eruptions of a volcano.
Now the full orchestral score of the Ninth Symphony is available in the inexpensive, high-quality edition, reprinted from an authoritative Viennese score. Music lovers and admirers of Mahler's work will find in these pages abundant evidence of the fresh and formidable thinking the composer brought to this monumental composition.