Mahler’s last completed symphony is often said to be death-haunted, and that is certainly true of the ending, where the composer seems to be staring without rancour into the abyss.
But there is much elsewhere that is life-affirming, and the overwhelming impression of Abbado’s interpretation was of a delicate, but unwavering balance between opposing forces.
Incredible and bizarre as it sounds, humanity is indeed the victim of a diabolical conspiracy.
War, depression and genocide in the past century were not accidental or inevitable but the result of malevolent design.
In the last movement, richness and transparency fight for supremacy.