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Mahler Symphonies Favorite Recordings - Page 87

post #1291 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by PSmith08
Well, "kindertotenlieder" is German for "songs on the death of children." (actually, I think "children's-death-songs" comes closer, but I am no German scholar)

If I am correct, Mahler's daughter died after these were written and his wife never forgave him for "jinxing" the child. However, a truer Mahlerian than I probably knows the story better.
Some biographies dispute the story a little, but that is the essence. I have no doubt personally that Mahler took it seriously. He viewed his genius as something outside himself and believed he was capable of channeling mystical forces with his music.

One of many famous statements he made: He worried that Das Lied von der Erde was so overwhelming that it would cause people to kill themselves.
post #1292 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Sarvis
Some biographies dispute the story a little, but that is the essence. I have no doubt personally that Mahler took it seriously. He viewed his genius as something outside himself and believed he was capable of channeling mystical forces with his music.

One of many famous statements he made: He worried that Das Lied von der Erde was so overwhelming that it would cause people to kill themselves.
While Mahler wasn't as big a blowhard as Wagner, I get the impression Mahler had a very, very high opinion of his work. There is the comment about his replacing Beethoven, isn't there? Of course, he never organized the Mahler Festspiele and never constructed a Festival Hall for that purpose.
post #1293 of 3714
They were all egomaniacs to some extent.

The ultimate Mahler-ego story (which I have to paraphrase becasue I don't remember it too well): At the premiere of M3, Mahler leaned over to his companion and whispered: "...and he saw that it was good."

Even so, nothing approached Wagner for ego. Mahler at least acknowledged some higher force in his music. I think Wagner thought he was the higher force.
post #1294 of 3714
Has anybody heard any of these?

http://www.mahlerfest.org/purchase_cds.htm

The M8 keeps getting mentioned in reviews...
post #1295 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Sarvis
They were all egomaniacs to some extent.

The ultimate Mahler-ego story (which I have to paraphrase becasue I don't remember it too well): At the premiere of M3, Mahler leaned over to his companion and whispered: "...and he saw that it was good."

Even so, nothing approached Wagner for ego. Mahler at least acknowledged some higher force in his music. I think Wagner thought he was the higher force.
Oh no, Wagner was sure that there was a higher force. He was also sure that the higher force was jealous of Wagner.
post #1296 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Sarvis
Ooh - a fast Adagietto!

must...own...
DarkAngel is right, Kondrashin's M5 is compulsory!
post #1297 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Sarvis
They were all egomaniacs to some extent.

The ultimate Mahler-ego story (which I have to paraphrase becasue I don't remember it too well): At the premiere of M3, Mahler leaned over to his companion and whispered: "...and he saw that it was good."
Another good one: When Bruno Walter visited Mahler on vacation in the mountains when Mahler was finishing the third, Walter paused and looked around in awe at the mountain scenery. Mahler impatiently waved him in the door, saying, "You needn't bother looking at that, I already put it in the score."
post #1298 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by PSmith08
Oh no, Wagner was sure that there was a higher force. He was also sure that the higher force was jealous of Wagner.
So you are saying that Wagner believed in Karajan?
post #1299 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark from HFR
Another good one: When Bruno Walter visited Mahler on vacation in the mountains when Mahler was finishing the third, Walter paused and looked around in awe at the mountain scenery. Mahler impatiently waved him in the door, saying, "You needn't bother looking at that, I already put it in the score."
One would have to have a tremendous ego after creating some of the music he did. It's probably a good thing Frau Mahler was a tolerant-enough woman. Was it Frau Mahler that was less-than-faithful to Herr Mahler? I think I recall something about that, but my memory could be failing me.
post #1300 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark from HFR
So you are saying that Wagner believed in Karajan?
Von Karajan certainly thought so. However, I feel that, in the ego contest, Richard Wagner beats both Gustav Mahler and Herbert von Karajan. That is no mean feat.
post #1301 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by PSmith08
One would have to have a tremendous ego after creating some of the music he did. It's probably a good thing Frau Mahler was a tolerant-enough woman. Was it Frau Mahler that was less-than-faithful to Herr Mahler? I think I recall something about that, but my memory could be failing me.
Yes, that incident happened later on if I recall correctly. Was that her affair with the painter Kokoschka? It gets hard to keep track of Alma's long list of "involvements".
post #1302 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark from HFR
Yes, that incident happened later on if I recall correctly. Was that her affair with the painter Kokoschka? It gets hard to keep track of Alma's long list of "involvements".
That sounds right, but it is getting too late for me to think correctly. However, you seem to have figured out the key to Frau Mahler's personality. She certainly enjoyed the company of others.
post #1303 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Sarvis
Has anybody heard any of these?

http://www.mahlerfest.org/purchase_cds.htm

The M8 keeps getting mentioned in reviews...

Curse you devils of temptation!
post #1304 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by PSmith08
Well, "kindertotenlieder" is German for "songs on the death of children." (actually, I think "children's-death-songs" comes closer, but I am no German scholar)

If I am correct, Mahler's daughter died after these were written and his wife never forgave him for "jinxing" the child. However, a truer Mahlerian than I probably knows the story better.
Well, from what I have read and been told in my art classes, Alma Mahler (née Schindler) was the daughter of artists, but was more interested in music as a youngster. She bragged that she received her first "kiss" from Gustav Klimt, who also bragged that he gave her her first kiss -- whatever that means. In 1902, she married Mahler who was 20 years older than her, and her career as a composer was then sidelined, permanently. During the marriage, she and Gustav had 2 daughters, elder (Maria Anna) died shortly after Mahler completed Kindertotenlieder in 1907. Anna is on record as saying that Gustav felt that his works were "prophetic" with respect to his own life, he believed that writing the Kindertoten Lieder had "hexed" his child, and Anna felt that the Symphony no. 6 (composed 1903-06) actually was Mahler foretelling his own death. Their marriage suffered ups and downs, Mahler had an affair with one or more than one of his sopranos (sorry, no hints of train rides from Venice, Mark) while Alma started up with Walter Gropius. Mahler was so upset by her liaison with Gropius that he spoke to Sigmund Freud about it. Apparently, Alma was definitely sexually active outside the marriage as was Gustav.

After Mahler's death, she entered into a tempestuous liaison with Kokoschka which lasted around 2 years. She ended it because of the obsessive nature of the relationship. She then resumed her liaison with Gropius, marrying him in 1915 or 16. She gave birth to her third child, a daughter by Gropius (Manon) in 1916. Unhappily married again to an extremely paternalistic man, she then embarked on a liaison with Franz Werfel and became pregnant by him. She then divorced Gropius to marry Werfel in 1929. Unfortunately her son by Werfel did not survive to 1 year. Her daughter by Gropius later became ill and died in 1934 of polio (contracted during a vacation in Venice) at the age of 17. To give you an idea of their circle, Alban Berg then dedicated his violin concerto to Manon Gropius (the angel in the dedication).

Just after or on the eve of the Anschluss in 1938, Werfel and Alma then fled the Nazis first to France and then to the United states. I think I read a quote from Henry Miller who knew them in Paris, which painted her as something of an emasculating black widow. Ofcourse, Miller may not be the most reliable witness or judge of these things given his own history. In the process of fleeing the Germans again, they stopped in Lourdes where Werfel was inspired to write his most famous book, The Song of Bernadette (which has its own fascinating history in Hollywood). Once in the USA, she encouraged Werfel to move to California (Thomas Mann moved there in 1942, so there must have been quite a community of writers out there). In 1943, David O. Selznick made the book into the movie as a vehicle for his then lover (he was still married to Irene Mayer) Jennifer Jones. Werfel died in 1945 and Alma relocated to NYC. She was by then pretty old but still fascinating, and embarked on a new career of promoting Mahler's music. Anna set up her studio in California while Alma eventually settled in NYC. After her mother's death in 1964, Anna moved back to Europe where she lived until she died sometime in the 1980s.

They actually made a movie of her life, Bride of the Wind. Here's the synopsis from imdb.com

Quote:
Plot Summary for Bride of the Wind (2001)

Vienna, 1902: Alma Schindler meets Gustav Mahler. She beautiful, young, plays, and composes: music is her life. She becomes Mahler's lover, then he marries her, asking that she give up composing. She has two children, works as his assistant, does his books, saves him from debt, and feels stifled. In 1910, after the death of a child, she retreats to a spa where she falls in love with Walter Gropius. Will she go with him or stay with Mahler? She conducts an affair with the tempestuous Oskar Kokoschka and is stifled in another way. Then, she marries Gropius, who proves imperious. She leaves him for Franz Werfel: he finds her compositions and insists the public hear them.
Sounds like something made for TV. In fact, Alma's life sounds like grist for a miniseries, Bride of the Winds of War.
post #1305 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Sarvis
The Horenstein M3 is here from Amazon UK!

Now to press play and see what all the buzz is about...
Well, I've only had a chance to listen to it once, but my initial impressions are thus (more thoughts to come as I finish): Horenstein's recording is justifiably famous, because it "tells a story with the music" more than any other 3rd I've heard. Where Boulez and Zander are highly analytical, for example, this reading is much more flowing and lyrical - Like MTT only much moreso. It tends to hold one's interest as a continuous narrative.

Having said this, I would not be without my other top Mahler 3rds (Boulez, Bernstein Sony, Abravanel (for once my least fave of the group! - although it does make this first tier list), Zander, and MTT. (A new one is soon to arrive for my upcoming b-day according to the missus' not-too-subtle hints!). Horenstein definitely assumes its place in the top tier.

Sound quality on the Horenstein is passable (its weaknesses are only in comparison to the new powerhouses - it's hard to imagine, for example, anything sounding better than the Boulez M3, period). Playing is adequate with a few very minor clams and subtle intonation variances that tend to add to the overall effect in a strange way. This recording was done in a way that lets the inner voices shine through; that's probably another reason for it's enduring appeal.

More later as I further assimilate...

This may be one of the most open-to-interpretation symphonies in the history of music!
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