The Odeon of Herodes Atticus
Gustav Mahler (1860 — 1911)
Symphony No. 3 in D minor (1893—1896)
Conductor — Teodor Currentzis
“That I call it a symphony is actually inaccurate, because in nothing does it adhere to the conventional form. But symphony means to me: building a world with all the means of the existing technique. The ever new and changing content determines its form by itself.” With these words, Gustav Mahler characterised his Symphony No. 3 in the summer of 1895. This represents nothing less than an attempt to trace the whole of creation in a single musical work – or rather, to juxtapose it with a second creation that is located entirely outside the first in a kind of utopian space, in a “non-place”. As outrageous, even sacrilegious, as this claim may seem, the result is overwhelming: Six movements, stretching over more than one and a half hours of performance time, tell a creation story that ranges from inanimate nature to divine love – the meaning, origin and goal of creation at the same time: a work as if made for an ensemble that already bears utopia in its name.