Mahler

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Do you prefer the songs? Can you really not stand hs work?
Is the 8th any good? What're the best versions? etc.

Pete S, Friday, 21 November 2003 00:08 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

get kath ferrier singing das lied von der erde and kindertotenlieder

amateur!st (amateurist), Friday, 21 November 2003 00:14 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

5-7 are the best, followed by the 9th.

I don't have much time for no.1.

Pete S, Friday, 21 November 2003 00:15 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I have Janet Baker doing 'Das Lied..' with Haitink, and her 'Kindertotenlieder' with Barbirolli. Both incredible, transcendent.

Pete S, Friday, 21 November 2003 00:20 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

baker vs ferrier fite oh no

(p.s. ferrier wins)

amateur!st (amateurist), Friday, 21 November 2003 00:23 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I actually have problems with her vocal style....Seems very old-fashioned to me. But i'll check it out. I know her 'Das Lied' with Bruno Walter's 'sposed to be a legendary recording.

Pete S, Friday, 21 November 2003 00:25 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Is there anything that isn't classic? (and what's wrong w/ #1?).

Anyone else heard the Uri Caine album?

gabbneb (gabbneb), Friday, 21 November 2003 00:30 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Uri Caine? Que?

No.1 justs seems like the work of a hack compared to 5-7. I think they're endlessly inventive and astonishingly fertile. I listen to them all the time really (+9).

Also i can't listen to no.2 that often. It really can be super-dull.

Pete S, Friday, 21 November 2003 00:35 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

The Bruno Walter "Das Lied" is phenomenal --- maybe there's a better recorded performance, but I haven't heard it.

I find myself most frequently going to the recording of the 9th with Leonard Bernstein and the Vienna Philharmonic, but that may be a product of mood -- I live in a frantic city and balance many activities, so the attentiveness and particular gestalt that Mahler compels is a rare commodity with me; the 9th fits my tastes more easily than other works. A caveat: I tend to favor his later work, but as I'm more disposed towards 20th century/avant-garde composers, some of the more formalist/romantic Mahler is not so much my cup of tea -- in this regard I differ from some other fans of his composition.

Nom De Plume (Nom De Plume), Friday, 21 November 2003 00:50 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I really like Lorin Maazel's No. 5 (Columbia/CBS/Sony 44782). Extravantly emotional.

dylan (dylan), Friday, 21 November 2003 00:59 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

the movie is awesome!!!

Spencer Chow (spencermfi), Friday, 21 November 2003 01:01 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Surely that's what makes Mahler special/unique Nom, that he doesn't really fit into any camp. AND you can't tell how much/in what sense he means it ('it' being a statement usually of the romantic kind).
Irony and obsessive self-referencing make it infinitely complex.
Funny, i've not heard Bernstein's 9th, but i would have thought that would be overly romantic - or is that a dimwitted thing to say?

Also, don't you think the 3rd is incredibly avant-garde, particularly the ist mvmnt? The 9th for me is less a symphony and more an extraordinary world which you can enter and allow your personality to dissolve in it's warmth. The 1st mvmnt is the greatest thing ever written by anyone.

Pete S, Friday, 21 November 2003 01:02 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Pete: I do very much like the 3rd, and, as I tried to express, my proclivity viz. Mahler is more about the moods that I find myself in and what I feel like listening to than an analytical survey of his works; to put it more simply, I have a quirky and somewhat idiosyncratic approach to his music. But then he's an idiosyncratic composer and his output reflects this. The 9th just does it for me, somehow, more often than his other works.

My categorizing a piece as "romantic" tends to be more about the sonority and tonality than about his compositional intent -- I agree with you that he's a very complex composer and it's difficult to parse his intent for a given piece, which may involve many levels. If he were more obvious in where he was coming from, perhaps he'd be less interesting.

Spencer: what movie?

Nom De Plume (Nom De Plume), Friday, 21 November 2003 01:46 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I hope i'm not stealing thunder, but the movie Spencer's refering to is 'Mahler' directed by Ken Russel, starring Robert Powell. Early '70s. Perfect, in some ways, for it's subject: parodic,ironic, post-modern, over-the-top, obsessed with death. It's not dated well, but it's a good introduction to the man (and to Russel).

(Btw in case anyone's wondering i like all those qualities about Mahler.....)

Pete S, Friday, 21 November 2003 01:55 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Wow, I love Russell ("The Devils" is one of my favorite films), and hearing that he'd done a Mahler film makes such perfect sense in light of "Lizstomania" and "The Music Lovers". I must seek this out.

Nom De Plume (Nom De Plume), Friday, 21 November 2003 02:13 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Nom De Plume, if you are interested in Mahler as Modernist, I'd say that Pierre Boulez's recordings might suit your needs much better than Leonard Bernstein, who is way too overemotional for my taste. Boulez's recordings of the 6th and 7th are fantastic.

No love for the fourth yet...? It's his most straightforward symphony, and one of his most enjoyable. The first is enjoyable too, but its pastiches and so forth are kind of heavy-handed.

Riccardo Chailly and Claudio Abbado are a couple of other good Mahler conductors - Abbado's fourth with Frederica von Stade is particularly good.

I'd say search most of the symphonies, to various degrees, esp 4,6,7,9. The only one I'd destroy would be the 8th.

Captain Sleep (Captain Sleep), Friday, 21 November 2003 02:14 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Boulez's 6th is my prefered version too, I should really get his 7th.
The 4th is good but i don't know why you don't big up no.5, as you like 6+7. I think it's one of the most consistent.

Agree about the 8th partially. Sometimes i can really get into it, in performance, but it doesn't stick in your head as much, i find.
A case of note-spinning, perhaps?
It's sort of Mahler without the get-out clauses, all passion and noise and little ironic distance.
That said, some of the motifs are very 'modernist', anticipating Stravinsky for example.

Pete S, Friday, 21 November 2003 02:25 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

i don't know why you don't big up no.5

Mostly because it's not as urgent as 6 and not as weird as 7. Plus the Adagietto has perhaps become over-familiar.

I don't know. It's his middle symphony and somehow it seems like it's the middle-ground of his symphonies, too - the elements in it that I like are elaborated better elsewhere.

Most of all, though, regardless of the explanation, "because I hardly ever listen to it".

Captain Sleep (Captain Sleep), Friday, 21 November 2003 10:42 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Anyone want to stick up forno.8?

Pete S, Friday, 21 November 2003 14:41 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

i don't know enough about classical music to distinguish between versions and whatnot,but i have the naxos version of his fifth symphony (polish national radio symphony orchestra) and i love it to bits,although my cd of it is scratched to fuck...
i asked my sister to get me "any of mahler's symphonies other than the fifth" when she asked what cd i wanted for my birthday,and ended up with the tenth,which i gather was unfinished at the time of his death,and finished off by some mahler scholar...dunno if its meant to be any good or not,but i never really got into it...
anyone else heard it?

robin (robin), Friday, 21 November 2003 14:48 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

oh also i love the excerpt from whichever symphony it is thats in michael mayer's immer

robin (robin), Friday, 21 November 2003 14:51 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I know the tenth quite well (i have Rattle's version), and i'd say it's for hard-core Mahler freaks only, to be honest. The opening adagio is really what it's all about, and that deserves to be brought out from time to time. Also the little Purgatorio is compellingly unusual. But the last two movements are mainly Deryck Cooke's work and test anyone's patience/interest.

Pete S, Friday, 21 November 2003 14:59 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

If you like the 5th robin, get hold of 6 and 7. They're a trilogy.

Pete S, Friday, 21 November 2003 15:02 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

re ferrier i think there is an old fashioned quality to her singing though i dont have an adequate understanding of vocal techniques to explain how precisely. suffice to say that she was drawn toward that part of the canon that is distinguished by emotionalism, and her singing correspondingly had a quality of warmth that, while not missing exactly, is underplayed in the work of other singers who favor a more contemporary or ascetic canon. i cant imagine ferrier singing wolf or webern for example. though of course she did work with britten--which is telling too in its own way b/c amongst 20th century major composers britten was perhaps more of a populist and more given to music of emotional generosity than others.

amateur!st (amateurist), Friday, 21 November 2003 15:09 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

by not knowing enough for example i find it hard to distinguish asceticism from emotionalism in different recordings of the same symphony e.g. boulez vs bernstein. is there actually a methodology that these two men followed (as opposed to their reputations, arch modernist vs. engaging populist) that would make such a distinction apt?

amateur!st (amateurist), Friday, 21 November 2003 15:17 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

finally i should note that i have a real fondness for the world of "classical lite" or rather those adagios and arias that were often reorchestrated for small ensembles and sold in albums of 78s and later 10 inches for people who didn't otherwise follow much classical music or have the money to attend recitals and operas. ferrier fit into that world i think and was thought of extremely fondly by a generation or two of english working- and middle-class families. her rather tragic life story and good looks probably helped gain her sympathy there too.

amateur!st (amateurist), Friday, 21 November 2003 15:20 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

amateurist i saw the recent profile of her on BBC2 and it was the combination of the humanity in her voice/singing and her easy-going folksy Lancs. nature that made her popular across the spectrum. Since her death her legend has grown even more, i think.
As for distinguishing styles, i often think the overall interpretation is less important than the musicality of a recording or performance, that's what draws me in , and then i'm willing to experience what the conductor has to say. That's why i like Boulez's 6th - he's not my ideal Mahler conductor, but what he does with that piece is magical.

Pete S, Friday, 21 November 2003 15:31 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

what about light music, amateurist? Ronals Binge, Haydn wood et al? There are some good comps on hyperion iirc. There was also a good comp of ms ferrier singing english folksongs on the now-defunct decca london "english series" of CDs.

Mahler, I don't like much, I'm afraid.

Pashmina (Pashmina), Friday, 21 November 2003 15:51 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

ronald

Pashmina (Pashmina), Friday, 21 November 2003 15:54 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

ferrier singing folk songs has mixed results musically (much like britten's folk song arrangements) but i'm sure did a lot to endear her to the public.

its interesting her folksong interpretations belong to a decidedly pre-midcentury-folk-revival mentality...they are sung recital-style with arrangements that while lacking the trickiness of classical arrangements still have little to do with actual folk arrangements. they fit somewhere between the incorporation and interpretation of folk songs by the 19th c. composers and the styles of people like richard dyer-bennett and ewan maccoll that were to come. sorry if i ramble... just thinking aloud

this is mahler thread sorry

amateur!st (amateurist), Friday, 21 November 2003 16:07 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I'v got the Ferrier cd 'Blow the wind Sourtherly' it's called.
I agree with you, amateurist in your analysis of it.

Pete S, Friday, 21 November 2003 16:11 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

just dug out my copy of the fifth symphony and gave it a wipe,its not as scratched as i though,movements 1-3 are ok anyway..
really enjoyed it,and thanks for the recommendation pete,i was wondering which one to get next...

robin (robin), Friday, 21 November 2003 16:27 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

So no-one likes the eighth then.....

Pete S, Saturday, 22 November 2003 00:57 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

one year passes...
th e8th sounds like the apocalypse!

Amateur(ist) (Amateur(ist)), Tuesday, 18 January 2005 21:24 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

one month passes...
kindertotenlieder

Amateur(ist) (Amateur(ist)), Friday, 18 February 2005 07:51 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

OTM. And that could be the most sinister word i've ever heard.

beanz (beanz), Friday, 18 February 2005 11:23 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

MV, Friday, 18 February 2005 14:23 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

The 8th is the "Symphony of a Thousand", yes? I really want to hear this now, if it sounds like the apocalypse. I saw the 6th in concert, complete with cowbells and mallets and the last movement had my heart racing. I think I like Mahler more in concert because recordings always sound too muddled and frightening, even good ones.

jocelyn (Jocelyn), Friday, 18 February 2005 15:58 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Mahler's First may seem corny today through reverse Anxiety of Influence: its beginning was probably the crib source/inspiration for the original Star Trek theme.

MV, Friday, 18 February 2005 20:15 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

As a child I was a choirboy in a production of the Symphony of a Thousand. It's totally thrilling stuff. The second movement just spirals its way endlessly upwards to heaven (it's based on a scene from Goethe's Faust. It literally is apocalyptic.

Speedhump Bungle (noodle vague), Friday, 18 February 2005 20:25 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

one year passes...
I am listening to EMI's "classic" 1938 recording of Bruno Walter conducting the 9th in Vienna. It feels like hearing a bootleg from another age. The recording makes a lot of the strings sound really odd to my ears, the piece oscillating between Hollywood cheese and bursts of avant phases. Should I check out a more recent recording?

Le Baaderonixx de Benedict Canyon (baaderonixx), Thursday, 23 March 2006 22:34 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

I have rocked the 8th so much these last couple of months. Mahler is so special, so out there.

Noodle Vague, Sunday, 23 December 2007 12:38 (eleven years ago) Permalink

There's a pp bit about 8 minutes into the second movement that's been ripped by every prog rock band ever.

Noodle Vague, Sunday, 23 December 2007 12:47 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Simon Rattle's versions of Mahler symphonies are in a super cheap box set in HMV at the moment. I might get it, I might. Also Sibelius, but I don't know if they rock.

PJ Miller, Sunday, 23 December 2007 13:51 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Bits of Sibelius I've heard on the radio didn't rock hugely but maybe I haven't heard the good stuff. Can't remember much of Finlandia. Wierdly it's kind of not pastoral enough for me.

Noodle Vague, Sunday, 23 December 2007 14:40 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Fischer-Dieskau singing the lieder with Bernstein on piano is a reliable, always-welcome disc - reduced to piano and voice, what's often heard as histrionics is just the simple power of those melodies, those intervals, that melding of the worldly and the infinite.

J0hn D., Sunday, 23 December 2007 14:41 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Has no one mentioned the 2nd ('Resurrection') at this point yet? It's hard to find a more powerful climax than that (at the very end).

I like the 1st, at least the first movement is quite great.

Joe, Sunday, 23 December 2007 19:49 (eleven years ago) Permalink

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51HAQ5TPK1L._SS400_.jpg

great set!

poortheatre, Sunday, 23 December 2007 20:26 (eleven years ago) Permalink

eleven months pass...

Mahler wars, sorta.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 18 December 2008 20:38 (ten years ago) Permalink

haha so the guy basically pays these guys wages (or at least invests a lot of money in music biz) and yet the complain if he once and a while conduct a lil' symphony. Bastards. :)

Ludo, Thursday, 18 December 2008 20:43 (ten years ago) Permalink

Kaplan's obsession with this one symphony is a touch weird.

get that pion down you son (Frogman Henry), Thursday, 18 December 2008 21:18 (ten years ago) Permalink

five months pass...
four months pass...

Adagietto from Symphony No. 5... sob!

krakow, Tuesday, 3 November 2009 15:11 (nine years ago) Permalink

While his 5th is not my very favorite of his symphonies, it's the one I listen to the most. I gnaw at it like a tasty old bone. My current favorite: Bernard Haitink and the Concertgebouw Orchestra, live, from the box set of his Xmas Day Mahler performances (xmas mahler matinee is some kind of tradition in Amsterdam).

Durian Durian (Jon Lewis), Tuesday, 3 November 2009 15:54 (nine years ago) Permalink

I've never heard any before, I just found this piece on an old CD that I inherited from my Dad's small classical collection. Further investigation needed.

krakow, Tuesday, 3 November 2009 16:17 (nine years ago) Permalink

Was thinking about doing a Mahler Symphonies poll as a spur to get me to listen to them all properly.

Obscured by clowns (NickB), Tuesday, 3 November 2009 16:20 (nine years ago) Permalink

xpost The 5th is a good one for you to begin with, I think. For an easily obtainable good recording, I'd say Benjamin Zander/Philharmonia Orch on Telarc. You get a free bonus CD with that where Zander talks about the 5th in an accessible manner.

Durian Durian (Jon Lewis), Tuesday, 3 November 2009 16:25 (nine years ago) Permalink

three months pass...

Revive!

The wikipedia entry on the 7th says there is an Otto Klemperer-conducted recording that lasts 100 minutes! Anyone heard it?

Freedom, Monday, 22 February 2010 15:53 (nine years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

Going to see Symphony No. 6 tonight.

krakow, Thursday, 11 March 2010 11:12 (nine years ago) Permalink

It was utterly sublime. An amalgamation of all kinds of wonderful.

krakow, Friday, 12 March 2010 08:59 (nine years ago) Permalink

and what about the Mahler?

louis do not fuck achewood (acoleuthic), Friday, 12 March 2010 10:19 (nine years ago) Permalink

What orchestra/conductor was it?

Seeing a live performance of #6 is at the very top of my to-do list. Would love to see Boulez conduct it while he's still on this earth. Since I live in NYC, I reckon my chances are pretty good (though I missed him a couple of years ago).

Perpetually impossible for me to decide between 5, 6, 9 and Das Lied Von Der Erde as favorites. Spent pretty much all of January and February on a giant Mahler jag, comparing performances-- this happens every couple of years.

Edward Gibbon & Ruskin' Man (Jon Lewis), Friday, 12 March 2010 17:05 (nine years ago) Permalink

Aye, the Mahler was pretty good too!

It was the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, conducted by Stéphane Denève.

This was my first classical concert of adulthood, so I don't feel particularly experienced to comment other than that I totally loved it.

They're doing Mahler's Symphony No. 4 at the end of the month, so I've picked up a CD of that today and will head along to the concert.

krakow, Friday, 12 March 2010 21:35 (nine years ago) Permalink

So far I've only heard Numbers 5 & 6, which are both awesome.

krakow, Friday, 12 March 2010 21:36 (nine years ago) Permalink

a number of people have informed me that with my musical tastes I would go nutwire for Mahler - so yeah if I ever have money I'll be down for a showing

louis do not fuck achewood (acoleuthic), Friday, 12 March 2010 21:38 (nine years ago) Permalink

krakow, how were the 'hammer blows' in the finale? Did they make a sonic impression? Did the percussionist play up the visual aspect of the hammer blows? (I have heard of performances where a dude stands on a riser with literally a giant comedy mallet and hits a giant cube).

You'll find symphony 4 as much of a contrast with 6 as you can imagine. In #6 we have a strong man brought low by fate and totally annihilated, in #4 we have a wry kind of a black forest folktale world where children starve to death but get to eat lots of candy in heaven after.

The Royal Scottish are a pretty damn good orchestra. On their series of Bax symphonies on Naxos, they play the hell out of those very decadent and unruly pieces.

What recording of sym #4 did you get?

Edward Gibbon & Ruskin' Man (Jon Lewis), Friday, 12 March 2010 21:51 (nine years ago) Permalink

We were seated literally in the front row (cheap seats), so didn't have the best view of anything but the front violinists' shoes, upskirt peeks and the conductor's theatricality.

I could just see the percussionist doing the big hammer blows at the end from my seat and I certainly found it very funny - the mallet was so ridiculously huge and all I could see was him weilding this beast above his head in a desperate two-handed grip and then the kind of disappointingly dull thump of it falling, which is much less impressive than the visual aspect and didn't even compete in terms of sonic power with lots of the other more normal bits of percussion.

krakow, Friday, 12 March 2010 21:59 (nine years ago) Permalink

upskirt peeks

on a first date too; okcupid never ceases to amaze me

louis do not fuck achewood (acoleuthic), Friday, 12 March 2010 22:01 (nine years ago) Permalink

I got a Classics For Pleasure version of Symphony No. 4, with the London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Jascha Horenstein with Dame Margaret Price as soprano.

It was recommended quite highly as a budget choice in my slightly older Gramophone guide (though I think it's been dropped in the newest one), and my local classical place had it with one of their 'Penguin Guide Recommended Recording ***' stickers, so I went for it at about half the price of the other recommended ones.

krakow, Friday, 12 March 2010 22:03 (nine years ago) Permalink

Yeah that's always the problem it seems-- making it SOUND like it looks. On a lot of studio recordings, the hammerblows come out sounding like no more than a hard kettledrum hit.

Incidentally, on the fairly recent David Zinman/Tonhalle Zurich Orchestra/RCA-BMG recording of the 6th, the hammerblows come out RIDICULOUSLY heavy, I almost think they overdubbed them but it sure works.

Ah that's a very good 4th! Know that it's an unusual one in its emphasis on the dark side-- normally a more Grimm Bros. kind of smiling irony is employed, but Horenstein in Mahler is the master of grim concentration.

Edward Gibbon & Ruskin' Man (Jon Lewis), Friday, 12 March 2010 22:06 (nine years ago) Permalink

I think that could be a good slant for me, more grimmness should suit.

krakow, Friday, 12 March 2010 22:10 (nine years ago) Permalink

I love the 6th. The andante is simply everything that is good about the world.

Freedom, Saturday, 13 March 2010 06:20 (nine years ago) Permalink

O M G the San Francisco Symphony performed Symphony 2 last night--there was a level of excitement to begin with as they brought out the Grammy for their CD of Mahler's 8th from last year...the mayor gave a speech, even. Then they proceeded to send the audience straight to heaven. When the choir kicked in at the end I was in another dimension entirely. What an amazing night of music.

WARS OF ARMAGEDDON (Karaoke Version) (Sparkle Motion), Saturday, 13 March 2010 06:36 (nine years ago) Permalink

five months pass...

It really doesn't get any better than Ferrier singing Das Lied, does it?

Freedom, Thursday, 9 September 2010 12:40 (eight years ago) Permalink

hey guys if you have been curious about Mahler but don't know where to start let me tell you something: this is a fucking outstanding 2-CD set. dunno if ppl are purist about "hear the movements in the context of their symphonies" but everybody knows Mahler is the adagio king and this thing is like being drowned in awesomeness.

http://www.deccaclassics.com/cat/single?PRODUCT_NR=4782342

aerosmith: live at gunpoint (underrated aerosmith albums I have loved), Thursday, 16 September 2010 20:06 (eight years ago) Permalink

Did the artwork guy get Vienna confused with Venice?

jesper olsen twins (NickB), Thursday, 16 September 2010 20:24 (eight years ago) Permalink

naw I think it's that the adagietto from the 5th was used to great effect in a film of death in vencie or thus saith wikipedia - I think a lot of people were first exposed to mahler via that movie

now playing, mahler's arrangements of schumann's symphonies -- no. 3 is quite remarkable imo

aerosmith: live at gunpoint (underrated aerosmith albums I have loved), Wednesday, 29 September 2010 12:36 (eight years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

the new rattle no. 2 mentioned here sure seems like something. but it's been years since i heard any other performance, so i can't compare them to what i'm hearing now.

j., Sunday, 12 December 2010 02:51 (eight years ago) Permalink

Oh, I'd be interested in that!

EveningStar (Sund4r), Sunday, 12 December 2010 03:31 (eight years ago) Permalink

the brass in the first movement are really liquid.

have classical recordings gotten bassier in the last ten-fifteen years?

j., Sunday, 12 December 2010 21:33 (eight years ago) Permalink

six years pass...

On the first disc of Warner's Complete Works, "Das Klagende Lied" has traffic noises and a sound that comes up every now and then, can't work out what the hell it is. It sounds like a guy with a sock in his mouth shagging.

Found one review that said it was a bad recording. But I'm new to Mahler and quite blown away by it nonetheless.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Thursday, 22 June 2017 00:42 (one year ago) Permalink

one year passes...

I always thought his 6th sounds like a soundtrack to apocalyptic wars and tragedy. On R3 they were discussing Bernstein and his love of Mahler, and someone was saying Bernstein considered Mahler a prophet, who as a Jew could feel the shit times coming back for them in Europe, and his 6th was a premonition of the coming storms etc.

calzino, Friday, 31 August 2018 16:15 (seven months ago) Permalink

Definitely. The 6th as always has some klezmer-derived themes, particularly the "mocking theme" of the 1st and 2nd movements (the scherzo, which is sometimes placed 3rd - wrongly!). The perversion and destruction of provincial German Jewish culture was always at the back of Mahler's mind I think. He was forced to renounce his Jewishness and convert to Catholicism to conduct in Vienna, so I think he gets his own back with these subversive musical reminders of his Jewish heritage. He also wouldn't have faced such pressure if he'd been able to go to New York earlier (but he wasn't famous enough yet - for his conducting only I might add! The public were barely interested in his music).
It's also often argued that Mahler was prophesying the death of his children. No 6 incorporates themes from his just completed Kindertotenlieder (particularly the Andante) and a couple of years later Mahler and Alma's daughter Maria died at the age of four and a half, and their other daughter Anna came close to death.
The last movement seems to embrace extra-personal significance though, it's so huge and dramatic.

Going to see Mahler 3 at proms this Sunday, Boston SO with Andris Nelsons :D

glumdalclitch, Friday, 31 August 2018 23:43 (seven months ago) Permalink

ah, thanks for that bit of excellent knowledge, glumd. I didn't know about the subversive klezmer elements of the 6th and that adds a lot to my appreciation of it.

calzino, Saturday, 1 September 2018 09:20 (seven months ago) Permalink

five months pass...

concert on R3 tonight on this very topic:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0002cdy

Thomas Dausgaard is a conductor who delights in exploring the complex roots that feed into composers' music. In this concert he brings together 3 composers with an influence of Jewish music alongside the renowned Klezmer band, She'Koyokh.
The first half begins with Bernstein's Candide Overture and a rare chance to hear the cello work Schelomo by Bloch: cellist Jian Wang joins the orchestra.
And in the second half a performance of Mahler's First Symphony is introduced by a prelude performance of Jewish folk music by the band along with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra - to hear what resonances emerge.

glumdalclitch, Thursday, 7 February 2019 19:25 (two months ago) Permalink


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