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Mahler: Where Do I Start?

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  #41  
Old 02-07-08, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by haydnguy View Post
She should have written a book!!!
She did, and it caused endless trouble. Despite having married two Jews, and having had God-knows how many Jewish lovers, her autobiography contained numerous anti-Semitic references.

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In 1951 Alma moved to New York... For some time already she had been working on her autobiography, which was based on her diaries. She was initially supported by Paul Frischauer as ghost-writer, but they had fallen out with one another back in 1947 when he criticized her numerous anti-Semitic slurs. In the 1950s she worked with E. B. Ashton. He too perceived the necessity to censor her diaries due to her anti-Semitic utterances and numerous attacks on people who were still living. In 1958, "And the Bridge is Love" appeared in English.

The reactions to this English edition were muted. In particular, Walter Gropius reacted angrily, hurt by the representation of their earlier love affair. The reactions of other friends and acquaintances, such as Paul Zsolnay, made it clear to Alma that a German-language edition, which had already been contemplated, should not be published without significant changes to the text. Willy Haas was given the task of preparing an edition for the German-speaking market, and was to smooth over the original text still further. Alma's previous ghost-writers had already suggested to her that she delete her racist political views. It was only the reactions to the English edition which changed her mind: "Please remove all traces of the whole Jewish question," she wrote to Willy Haas.

Source
Following the Anschluss in 1938 she fled with her daughter Anna Mahler (half Jewish) to France where she and her then husband (Werfel - Jewish) set up house. With the invasion of France in 1940 they fled again, by foot over the Pyrenees, thence to Madrid, Lisbon and New York. It's claimed:

Quote:
At this time, Alma Mahler-Werfel was considering divorce, and put out feelers through the Reich Propaganda Office to ascertain whether she would be welcome in Austria.

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Her stepfather Carl Moll and half-sister Maria were long-standing members of the Nazi Party. They committed suicide in April 1945.

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Alma with her butler August Hess, and Franz Werfel, Los Angeles, 1941
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  #42  
Old 05-07-08, 02:35 AM
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Concerning the 'symphonic poem' that ultimately became M1, the best I could find was on andante.com. Unfortunately, the site doesn't seem to have been updated in several years but still has a lot of good info.

This was written by Henry-Louis de La Grange concerning the symphonic poem. What we hear today as M1 comes from a revision in 1897.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Programmes

To enable the public to understand it more easily, Mahler drew up several 'programmes', all more or less along the same lines, for his 'Symphonic Poem' later to become a Symphony. From the start he made it clear that the original title of the work—'Titan'—had nothing to do with the celebrated novel by Jean Paul Richter, and that the famous As in harmonics at the beginning evoke a morning scene in the forest, when the summer sun 'vibrates and sparkles' through the branches. The programme in 1893, when the Andante was still part of the work, was as follows:

Part I

'Memories of Youth': fruit, flower and thorn pieces

1. 'Spring goes on and on' (Introduction and Allegro comodo).
The introduction describes nature's awakening from its long winter sleep.

2. 'Blumine' (Andante).

3. 'Full sail' (Scherzo).

Part II

4. 'Aground!' ( A funeral march in the style of Callot).

The following will help to explain this movement: the initial inspiration for it was found by the composer in a burlesque engraving: 'The Huntsman's Funeral', well known to all Austrian children, and taken from an old book of fairy stories. The animals of the forest accompany the dead huntsman's coffin to the graveside; hares carry the pennant, then comes a band of Bohemian musicians, followed by cats, toads, crows, etc., all playing their instruments, while stags, deer, foxes and other fourlegged and feathered creatures of the forest accompany the procession with droll attitudes and gestures. This movement is intended to express a mood alternating between ironic gaiety and uncanny brooding, which is then suddenly interrupted by:

5. 'Dall'Inferno' (Allegro Furioso)

the sudden outburst of despair from a deeply wounded heart.

This text, which devotes more space to the grotesque Funeral March than to all the other movements combined, shows that Mahler was aware of the March's originality and feared that it might puzzle the audience. The same indeed might be said of the whole of the work, with its mixture of sorrow and irony, the grotesque and the sublime, tragedy and humour. None of this can be explained without the literary references that Mahler himself readily provided from the start. Not only are some of the original 'titles' of the movements borrowed from Jean Paul, but the whole work is steeped in the atmosphere of German romantic literature and finds its themes and underlying inspiration in the permanent conflict between idealism and realism to be found in the works of E.T.A. Hoffmann and Jean Paul, between the demands of a spirit animated by the cult of beauty and goodness and the degrading realities of everyday life. The 1893 'programme' mentions the French engraver Jacques Callot (1592-1635), so dear to the hearts of the German Romantics, and Hoffmann in particular, though it must be said that the well-known engraving of 'The Huntsman's Funeral' was in fact the work of the Austrian painter Moritz von Schwind, friend of Schubert and Grillparzer.
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  #43  
Old 07-07-08, 06:57 AM
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I was just looking back at the posts that Herzeleide made in this thread. I want to thank him again.

I'm still not knowledgeable but I had just listened to the 4th symphony when he wrote that so I had no idea what he was talking about. I at least now recognize the titles of all the works!
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  #44  
Old 08-07-08, 08:18 AM
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A word to people who care about these things... I would avoid M7 by Abbado and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. I just put it in my CD player for the first time today and discovered that DG split each movement into tracks!!!

For instance, the first movement is split into 8 tracks. Now they HAVE made it so it doesn't obviously sound broken up when going from one track to the next, but I like to make mental notes while listening and having 5 movements with 21 tracks is too tough for my brain.
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  #45  
Old 08-07-08, 10:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haydnguy View Post
A word to people who care about these things... I would avoid M7 by Abbado and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. I just put it in my CD player for the first time today and discovered that DG split each movement into tracks!!!

For instance, the first movement is split into 8 tracks. Now they HAVE made it so it doesn't obviously sound broken up when going from one track to the next, but I like to make mental notes while listening and having 5 movements with 21 tracks is too tough for my brain.
Weird. Also, owners of (at least) some kinds of mp3 players would find that if they were to rip it to mp3, there would be a gap between tracks. This would be hugely annoying.

The whole symphony is apparently roughly 80 minutes long, so I can't imagine why it would be necessary to divide each of the five movements into so many tracks.
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  #46  
Old 16-07-08, 07:53 PM
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I was surprised reading this thread that no one mentioned THE best song ever written. Because Mahler wrote it.

I always like to think of Mahler as a miniaturist gone wrong - but that possibly says more about my personality than Mahler's compositional style. I prefer him in the songs where every detail becomes a big moment in itself.

Here's "Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen" ("I am lost to the world"), Mahler's setting of a Rueckert text.

I will say simply that it is romanticism of the highest degree --not that Wagnerian, fin-de-siecle degenerate lush romanticism, but simply High Romanticism.


Text
Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen,
Mit der ich sonst viele Zeit verdorben,
Sie hat so lange nichts von mir vernommen,
Sie mag wohl glauben, ich sei gestorben!

I am lost to the world
with which I used to waste so much time,
It has heard nothing from me for so long
that it may very well believe that I am dead!



Es ist mir auch gar nichts daran gelegen,
Ob sie mich für gestorben hält,
Ich kann auch gar nichts sagen dagegen,
Denn wirklich bin ich gestorben der Welt.

It is of no consequence to me
Whether it thinks me dead;
I cannot deny it,
for I really am dead to the world.



Ich bin gestorben dem Weltgetümmel,
Und ruh' in einem stillen Gebiet!
Ich leb' allein in meinem Himmel,
In meinem Lieben, in meinem Lied!

I am dead to the world's tumult,
And I rest in a quiet realm!
I live alone in my heaven,
In my love and in my song!

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  #47  
Old 16-07-08, 09:10 PM
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I have heard it several times because it is on one of my CD's but I hadn't really gotten around to looking in to it closely. Thanks for drawing my attention to it.
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  #48  
Old 17-07-08, 09:51 AM
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I've been sitting here listening to some of Mahler's songs while reading the words, and I was just thinking that one of the things that draws people to Mahler is that there is a "bit of Mahler" in all of us.

Not to the extreme's of course, but in all of us there is despair (at times) and feelings of hope (at times). Life is full of ups and downs and what Mahler was able to do so brilliantly was capture those feelings in his music. I know that I'm not the first one to come up with this, but that's what I was just reflecting on as I listened.
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  #49  
Old 03-08-08, 09:37 AM
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Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde (The Song of the Earth) is playing at the Proms in London tonight. Tempted... It's an odd programme - paired with Beethoven's 1st symphony. The Mahler needs a huge orchestra so you'd think they'd use it for the other work.

Quote:
* Beethoven Symphony No.1 in C major (27 mins)
* Interval
* Mahler Das Lied von der Erde (65 mins)

Karen Cargill mezzo-soprano
Johan Botha tenor

BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Donald Runnicles conductor

http://www.bbc.co.uk/proms/2008/what...8.shtml#prom23
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5d2EfZtscfQ"]YouTube - Janet Baker: Das Lied von der Erde (Der Abschied)[/ame]
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  #50  
Old 03-08-08, 10:54 AM
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I say, "Go, Go!!!" What great fun that would be to hear that.
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alban berg , alma mahler-werfel , blumine , caruso , das lied von der erde , franz werfel , gerhart hauptman , hollnsteiner , johan botha , karen cargill , klimt , kokoschka , mahler , schoenberg , walter gropius , zemlinksy

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