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The final measures of the Mahler 9th symphony seem to linger on to eternity...and beyond. The marking in the score is "Eberst langsam," which means almost as slow as humanly possible, and finally, the last measure is "esterbend," or "dying." Maestro Dudamel has been holding onto the moment for as long as both he, the orchestra, and the audience could endure.
The orchestra stands as they acknowledge the audience's applause in Budapest.
The patrons last night in Budapest simply would not start to applaud for fear of breaking a magical spell that had been cast by the great performance. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, the applause began and would never let up until the orchestra began to leave the stage.
This was a memorable and deeply moving performance and now the orchestra will take that greatness to Vienna today for our final playing of the Mahler in the revered Musikverein concert hall. The Philharmonic has also been given the fabulous news that Gustavo Dudamel will be our Music Director through the 2018-19 season! So what better way to end our first European tour with him than show the concertgoers of Mahler's beloved city that the Los Angeles Philharmonic is deservedly one of the world's truly great orchestras. We are all on such a high that the bus trip to Vienna will feel that the tires are never touching the ground!