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Mahler: Where Do I Start?

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  #31  
Old 22-05-08, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by *** View Post
1. Start with the 3rd symphony, just the first movement. Listen to that bold trombone solo and the low dark wood wind accompaniment. Here how he takes as long as he needs to get something finished, drawn out final phrases and cadences. Horns in unison breaking into harmony and growing to a huge thundering cadence for the full orchestra. then delicate woodwind passages (Mahler loves the oboe) which again lead to full orchestral climaxes. So what's this telling us? Mahler does not use the orchestra like an organ with different 'stops', rather his use of the medium is more fluid and flexible building orchestrally with out halting to change 'color'; he 'blends' colors.
2: Now have a go at the 7th symphony. The best recording I know is the Abbado with the Boston Symphony Orchestra (form about 2001)
Hi ***, I would have to respectfully disagree here. I think that the 3rd and 7th are some of Mahler's Greatest symphonies, but I know that even studying Mahler (rather intently in college) I had to take a running start to get to them. The "Gateway work" for me was the Second. And I got from there from the Fifth, First and Fourth. The Seventh in particular is a very mature work that can get a little bit strange in some places, so I don't know that I would necessarily throw that near the top of a list intended to introduce listeners to him!

Again, count me in as a Mahler lover. I have Several CD versions of most of them, and I make sure and get out to any of the local orchestras to hear them performed live. And come on, what list is complete without at least a sketch of the 10th! My personal favourite has always been the Sixth though. And, come on, it is Mahler - your mileage may vary!
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  #32  
Old 26-05-08, 05:28 AM
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I want to apologize for not posting more. I have indeed started listening to Mahler with the 1st and 2nd. They are both on one CD so it's easy for me to go straight from the first to the second.

I have a friend who is a classical music enthusiast who said he feels there is a "common thread" running from one piece to the next. I decided to start with the 1st to see if I could listen for that common thread.

I have been surprised, frankly, at how much I really like Mahler. It wasn't at all what I expected. For some reason, I expected rather "dark" music but it's not at all that. I also have liked the 1st and 2nd much more than the 4th even though some had suggested to start listening to Mahler with the 4th.

Will post back further thoughts. I appreciate all the info I'm getting here. I am going to be in a position shortly to have a bit more time for pleasure reading and I think I'll read about Mahler. I find reading about composers fascinating. Of the 3 biographies I've read so far..Mozart, Beethoven, and Haydn, I find Haydn's the most interesting followed by Mozart.
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  #33  
Old 26-05-08, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by haydnguy View Post
I want to apologize for not posting more.
Must try harder.







Seriously, no need to apologise.

Mahler's life would be very interesting. I wonder what good biographies there are.

Wikipedia tells us

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Mahler's widow reported that his last word was "Mozartl" (a diminutive, corresponding to 'dear little Mozart').
But then Alma was also reputedly given to making things up.
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  #34  
Old 08-06-08, 01:04 AM
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Hi Florestan,
I just went to my mailbox today and pulled out a biography I ordered on Mahler.

It's called: MAHLER His Life, Work & World by Kurt Blaukopf and Herta Blaukopf. It looks pretty neat. At the back it has a complete listing of his works together with the page numbers where each piece is talked about.
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  #35  
Old 30-06-08, 01:30 AM
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According to an online article I was just looking at, there was a movement dropped from the First Symphony. According to this, it was a second movement called Blumine. It was never accepted by "mainstream" conductors like Bruno Walters. (My only copy of M1 is with him).

Anyone have any additional info on this? I find this a bit fascinating.
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  #36  
Old 30-06-08, 01:34 AM
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Hi Florestan,
I just went to my mailbox today and pulled out a biography I ordered on Mahler.
Actually, the book I bought is not a biography. What it is, is a collection of letters, diary entries, documents, etc. In some ways even MORE interesting because it has in a lot of cases Mahler's own writings.

One funny incident I was reading last night was a letter Mahler wrote to a music school he was attending asking to be excused from having to pay tuition for the next semester.

The very next letter was to the school sincerely apologizing for recent disciplinary problems he had.
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  #37  
Old 30-06-08, 05:39 AM
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Sorry if this turns into a personal thread but I wanted to put down what I had found out so far. From what I can tell there are the only two versions that I can find that are played as the authentic versions of the original Titan:

Hiroshi Wakasugi/Tokyo Metropolitan SO/Fontec (1989)

Ole Kristian Ruud/Norkkoping SO/SIMAX (1997) coupled with the "Quattersatz"

I have found another one that is close to the above and I may get it because the two above are not available to me in the states on Amazon.

The one I'm considering is:
Mahler: Titan (Weimar Version, 1893)/Zsolt Hamar, Conducting/Hungary Pannon Philharmonic Orchestra
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  #38  
Old 02-07-08, 08:40 AM
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Have you tried the Norrington/Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment Mahler? I'm not sure what recordings are available, but around 2001 Norrington caused much gnashing of teeth in music critic circles by performing the symphonies on authentic instruments. The key difference (and the cause of hysteria because it turned everything upside down) was use of violins with gut strings and little if any vibrato. That produced a totally different sound and texture.

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  #39  
Old 02-07-08, 02:18 PM
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She should have been an empress.
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  #40  
Old 02-07-08, 03:01 PM
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Have you tried the Norrington/Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment Mahler?
No I haven't tried those. I'll search around and see what I can find. Those are interesting pictures. She should have written a book!!!
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