Semyon Bychkov © Umberto Nicoletti
Tschechische Philharmonie / Bychkov
Mahler: Symphonie Nr. 6
The contemporary of the future
Probably only a few people today know that there was already a rich tradition of cultivating Mahler in Prague at a time when his œuvre was by no means as internationally established as it has long been today. An example of this may be the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra's first guest performance at the Vienna Konzerthaus in 1928 under the baton of its legendary chief conductor Václav Talich, when it presented Mahler's Ninth Symphony, then less than 20 years old, alongside works by contemporary Czech composers. Incidentally, this was the fourth and at the same time the last performance of this work in this house until 1960, and it was to take as long as 1990 for the Czech Philharmonic to return here again. That the thread of Mahler's Prague cultivation has never been broken in the meantime is impressively demonstrated by the next appearance of this orchestra in the Vienna Konzerthaus: under the direction of its current principal conductor Semyon Bychkov, it will interpret Mahler's Sixth - along with the aforementioned Ninth and the Seventh, which it premiered under the composer's direction in Prague in 1908, the most prophetic work of the "contemporary of the future.