PHILIP GLASS: Symphony No.9 reviewed by Stephen Mejia

"I have no real foundation on which to discuss the merits or shortcomings of symphonic music—I’m too busy contemplating Drake, Mike Posner, and Nicki Minaj—but I have heard that the Ninth is considered “the cursed” symphony. 

I think it begins with Beethoven, who died after completing his Ninth. Mahler, I’ve read, was so disturbed by the thought of a Ninth, that, after completing his Eight, he tried to dodge The Curse by writing Das Leid von der Erde. But, oh, The Curse can’t be so easily duped: Mahler finally completed a Ninth, but died while working on his Tenth. Gotcha! And we all know what happened to Bruckner. There are at least a dozen other examples, each disputable, surrounded by some level of uncertainty. But, hey, a curse is always good for the history buffs and storytellers. And, as much as anything else, The Curse is what got me interested in Philip Glass’s Ninth"