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Mahler Symphonies Favorite Recordings - Page 65

post #961 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Masonjar
I almost see Mahler is a genre unto himself.

Baroque - Classical - Romantic - Late-Romantic - Mahler - Everything After..

I definately agree that before Mahler there was pretty much one, albiet wandering, road.. After Mahler the road split into dozens of different paths. Now, I'm not saying that it can be totally attributed to Mahler, I think the year 1900 seem to cause an erupution of new-thinking all over the world, and subsequent destruction the likes of which were never seen before. That Mahler was there at the time seems to make sense when you look at his music. The horror, the beauty, it was all there.

-jar
Agree. I think the phenomenon that changed everything was WWI. The fact that Mahler died before WWI hit makes him just that more of an amazing 20th century prophet - he saw it all.

To take the idea further: While I'm not an expert on Mahler's life (yet!), I've become convinced that he believed - and even feared - that he had a mystical power to call upon fate/God/Providence with his music. That would explain his reticence with the hammerblows in M6, the Kindertotenlieder nightmare, his statements on Das Lied, etc. He was in awe of his own genius, and saw it as something detached from himself.

I think that if you put yourself in his head, you can imagine him writing his symphonies based on some mega-programme (which I think he did; they all sound like movements of one continuous work to me), all the while fearing he was calling down some cosmic destiny on himself (and the world). Now, imagine how Mahler would feel reading Bernstein's assessment that Mahler predicted the entire 20th century! I submit that Mahler would fear that he actually caused it.

Just fun speculation...

P.S. I've been listening a lot to M3 lately. Does anyone else notice the Strauss Also Sprach Zarathustra quotes in the 4th movement? I've never read that described, but it would certainly make sense. Has this been documented elsewhere?
post #962 of 3714
I've got MTT's M9 on right now, but I'll get to the M3 immediately after!

Off topic question:
Where do you think composers for films are positioned stylistically, people like Maurice Jarre (Lawrence of Arabia, Dr. Zhivago, Witness); Miklos Rosza (Ivanhoe, Red River, Lust for Life, Flesh and the Devil); Dmitri Tiomkin (Lost Horizon, Friendly Persuasion, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington); John Williams (Home Alone, Hook); John Barry (Out of Africa, Dances with Wolves, Chaplin). Are they romantic or post romantic?
post #963 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnyears
I've got MTT's M9 on right now, but I'll get to the M3 immediately after!

Off topic question:
Where do you think composers for films are positioned stylistically, people like Maurice Jarre (Lawrence of Arabia, Dr. Zhivago, Witness); Miklos Rosza (Ivanhoe, Red River, Lust for Life, Flesh and the Devil); Dmitri Tiomkin (Lost Horizon, Friendly Persuasion, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington); John Williams (Home Alone, Hook); John Barry (Out of Africa, Dances with Wolves, Chaplin). Are they romantic or post romantic?
Wow - This could even be a new thread topic!

They are late/neo romantic - I think that most of them are influenced by 20th century traditionalists (who also held positions in academia) such as Respighi, Howard Hanson, Walter Piston). Hanson came under fire in the 60s for his career at Eastman, in which he influenced students (who went on to film careers) in a tonal, non-serial direction. The famous exception is Goldsmith's score to Planet of the Apes, which sounds Berg-ian.

It's also fun to consider that a lot of film music IMO, is directly influenced (even modeled after) two pieces: Wagners Der Ring and Holst's The Planets. Listen to "Gladiator" - music that has been well-received - and you will hear the blatant (and I do mean blatant) copying of Mars and Siegfried's Funeral March - much more than an homage, an absolute ripoff! Similarly, the oft-cited Star Wars music is just a stylistic rehash of Der Ring (especially the Sword Motive). (Off topic: Both of these movies also visually borrow heavily from Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will - as disturbing as that might be to fans of Gladiator and Star Wars!).

Another fun one: Alex North's famous and lauded score for Spartacus sounds to me (in the opening theme) like a simple reworking of the march theme from Shosty's 7th, movement 1 (which in turn reminds me of Ravel's Bolero, etc., etc., etc.).

Not to say there isn't good, original film music (Korngold, Hermann and of course Prokofiev come to mind), but most of it is watered-down and derivative IMO. It's a sad commentary that most moviegoers fail to realize this.

Now, back to Mahler - I hear his influence in film music too. Not just Death in Venice, either - I think his picture-painting style is evident in a lot of film scores.
post #964 of 3714

Off topic warning

Doc,

thanks for the analysis! I had wondered about this especially since a lot of the soundtrack music is now being offered on cd recordings with absolutely brilliant technical sound. Most of what I hear in movies is very easy on the ears as the film is playing, but whenever I have bought a soundtrack cd (with the exception of Kubrick or something like Dirty Dancing which is really a compilation), the music becomes very second-rate very fast. This happened with Moviola (John Barry) very fast. It's a cd that just sits on the shelf gathering dust. No one is interested in listening to these themes except as background for action. Which reminds me that when the kids did Midsummer's Night Dream in Highschool, the drama teacher used the score for Hook for background and it actually worked better than it did in the movie. Conventional me would probably stuck with Mendelssohn.

As to a new thread, I don't think I would want to have to buy the soundtracks in order to listen to them again and comment intelligently. I've already shot the budget on numerous goldbergs, mozarts, mahlers, beethovens, et al. Rosza, Williams, Tiompkins will just have to fade back into the background (pun intended).
post #965 of 3714
The only soundtracks I really like are:

Glass - Kundun - My favorite minimalist music;
Prokofiev - Alexander Nevsky - not really fair to include but it is a film score!;
RVW - Scott of the Antarctic - again not fair to include since he made it into a Symphony.
Hermann stuff
Some of the Korngold stuff
Arnold film stuff

"A Death in Venice" - basically Mahler's Adagietto

...thus we are back on-topic
post #966 of 3714
Recent new Mahler purchases:

Abravanel - Complete set on CD
Zander - M9
Reiner - Das Lied (found it on vinyl in perfect condition)!!!!! - $2.00
post #967 of 3714
Q:

Who's seen Ken Russell's film MAHLER?


I have, though it's been several years. I'd like to see someone do a more down to earth bio-pic about Mahler.

Side note: Hey Mark, have you seen this? I'm very curious, but I just haven't gotten around to it yet:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...v=glance&s=dvd

What the Universe Tells Me - Unraveling the Mysteries of Mahler's Third Symphony

It's been discussed in this thread before, but I was curious if you have seen it yet.

-jar (yes, all can call me jar)
post #968 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Masonjar
Q:

Who's seen Ken Russell's film MAHLER?


I have, though it's been several years. I'd like to see someone do a more down to earth bio-pic about Mahler.

Side note: Hey Mark, have you seen this? I'm very curious, but I just haven't gotten around to it yet:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...v=glance&s=dvd

What the Universe Tells Me - Unraveling the Mysteries of Mahler's Third Symphony

It's been discussed in this thread before, but I was curious if you have seen it yet.

-jar (yes, all can call me jar)
I've seen MAHLER - was not impressed.

As for WHAT THE UNIVERSE TELLS ME, I just might need to show the link to my kids as a father's day suggestion!
post #969 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Sarvis
Now, back to Mahler - I hear his influence in film music too. Not just Death in Venice, either - I think his picture-painting style is evident in a lot of film scores.
Another way to bring this topic back to Mahler: I recently bought the DVD of the movie "Time Bandits". I can't remember off the top of my head who composed the score, but in one early section of the film (the bit with Napoleon), it is basically a gloss of the first movement of Mahler's Sixth.
post #970 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Masonjar
Q:


Side note: Hey Mark, have you seen this? I'm very curious, but I just haven't gotten around to it yet:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...v=glance&s=dvd

What the Universe Tells Me - Unraveling the Mysteries of Mahler's Third Symphony

It's been discussed in this thread before, but I was curious if you have seen it yet.

-jar (yes, all can call me jar)
Wow, that looks really interesting! No, I haven't seen it, but it definitely goes on the list of things to get... If only I could afford to... Sheesh, something that is as good for the soul as Mahler should just be free! I dream of the scene: "Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, you've just had a bouncing baby boy. Here's his complementary set of the Mahler Symphonies."

M
post #971 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Masonjar
Q:

Who's seen Ken Russell's film MAHLER?

I have, though it's been several years. I'd like to see someone do a more down to earth bio-pic about Mahler.
I've seen another bio pic listed on Amazon, but it didn't seem to have very high marks from anyone who had seen it.

Russell is hopelessly over the top in places, but then there are a few spots where he captures a brief image that really does resonate with the music. If only the whole thing were like that!

M
post #972 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnyears
I've got MTT's M9 on right now, but I'll get to the M3 immediately after!

Off topic question:
Where do you think composers for films are positioned stylistically, people like Maurice Jarre (Lawrence of Arabia, Dr. Zhivago, Witness); Miklos Rosza (Ivanhoe, Red River, Lust for Life, Flesh and the Devil); Dmitri Tiomkin (Lost Horizon, Friendly Persuasion, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington); John Williams (Home Alone, Hook); John Barry (Out of Africa, Dances with Wolves, Chaplin). Are they romantic or post romantic?
Mahler-lite for the most part. I did a review of Telarc's Rosza SACD recently, and enjoyed it, especially on sonic grounds, as it is a wonderful recording. The music isn't the sort of thing I listen to often, but I do enjoy an occasional spin through it. After all, you can always make up your own "movie" to go with it.
post #973 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnyears
Where do you think composers for films are positioned stylistically, people like Maurice Jarre (Lawrence of Arabia, Dr. Zhivago, Witness); Miklos Rosza (Ivanhoe, Red River, Lust for Life, Flesh and the Devil); Dmitri Tiomkin (Lost Horizon, Friendly Persuasion, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington); John Williams (Home Alone, Hook); John Barry (Out of Africa, Dances with Wolves, Chaplin). Are they romantic or post romantic?
I place them firmly in the late high Romantic camp. This is essentially because the music is intended to play with the emotions. Romantic music does that.
To be frank, I see most film music as either an improvisation or reiteration of Wagner's operas. Der Ring des Nibelungen, Tristan und Isolde, and the other mature works all inspire modern film composers. John Williams, for example, has used Wagner's leitmotif methods over and over again. As noted, he goes so far as to borrow some of the leitmotifs (or "take inspiration from")
This is even more OT, but I see episodes I-VI as a reworking of Der Ring from a story standpoint. Really, III-VI serve as the best parallel of the Ring cycle. Of course, there is a massive dollop of Joseph Campbell in there too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Sarvis
It's also fun to consider that a lot of film music IMO, is directly influenced (even modeled after) two pieces: Wagners Der Ring and Holst's The Planets. Listen to "Gladiator" - music that has been well-received - and you will hear the blatant (and I do mean blatant) copying of Mars and Siegfried's Funeral March - much more than an homage, an absolute ripoff! Similarly, the oft-cited Star Wars music is just a stylistic rehash of Der Ring (especially the Sword Motive). (Off topic: Both of these movies also visually borrow heavily from Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will - as disturbing as that might be to fans of Gladiator and Star Wars!).
Triumph des Willens has had an enormous impact on moviemaking and the way movies are used. Tokyo Olympiad is another film that has a powerful aesthetic, but that is heavily inspired by Leni's Olympia films. Holst has also had a massive influence, especially "Mars."
post #974 of 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Sarvis
Agree. I think the phenomenon that changed everything was WWI. The fact that Mahler died before WWI hit makes him just that more of an amazing 20th century prophet - he saw it all.

To take the idea further: While I'm not an expert on Mahler's life (yet!), I've become convinced that he believed - and even feared - that he had a mystical power to call upon fate/God/Providence with his music. That would explain his reticence with the hammerblows in M6, the Kindertotenlieder nightmare, his statements on Das Lied, etc. He was in awe of his own genius, and saw it as something detached from himself.

I think that if you put yourself in his head, you can imagine him writing his symphonies based on some mega-programme (which I think he did; they all sound like movements of one continuous work to me), all the while fearing he was calling down some cosmic destiny on himself (and the world). Now, imagine how Mahler would feel reading Bernstein's assessment that Mahler predicted the entire 20th century! I submit that Mahler would fear that he actually caused it.

Just fun speculation...

P.S. I've been listening a lot to M3 lately. Does anyone else notice the Strauss Also Sprach Zarathustra quotes in the 4th movement? I've never read that described, but it would certainly make sense. Has this been documented elsewhere?
OK, Here's my theory. In M3, 4th movement (which quotes from Nietzsche's Also Sprach Zarathustra), starting with the words "Die Welt" and recurring several times in the orchestra during the movement, we have a two note descending motive (sounds like F# to F natural). I don't have the score, but I have pretty good pitch.

Now, listen to the famous Dawn theme (the beginning) of Strauss' Also Sprach Zarathustra: You know - duhhhh, duhhhh, duhhhhhhh - DAA DAAAA! That last DAA DAAAA is the same interval, and the same effect!

Now the clincher: The words DIE WELT mean, of course, THE WORLD. And the Strauss motive is associated with (althought not precisely the same as) what is known as the World Riddle motive!

I'd be totally 100% convinced except that it's in a different key, and the Strauss notes sound like E-D# to me.

This might be old news, but I've never heard it before. If it is new, Mark, you should use it in your MTT M3 review!
post #975 of 3714
Amazing how random questions can develop a life of their own!

Just for fun, I went to the imdb website and put Mahler in the search bar and came up with a filmography for the composer comprising 88 credits! The earliest credit is from 1960 for Leonard Bernstein's Young People's Concerts: Who is Gustav Mahler? (originally for television). Trust Lenny to have gotten the ball rolling.

There are two movies, Morte a Venezia (based on the Thomas Mann novella) and Ken Russell's Mahler that purportedly deal with the composer's life, although the Mann novella and the Visconti movie just use the circumstances of Mahler's life as a jumping off point. Ofcourse, no one could accuse Ken Russell of historic accuracy either.

The M5 Adagietto seems to have been used more than anything else -- that Adagietto has really taken on a life of its own. It's probably the only theme from Mahler that most people would recognize, even if they couldn't identify the composer.
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