Boosey & Hawkes

Mahler

 Portrait

Gustav Mahler
1860-1911

Though during his lifetime Mahler was highly regarded as a conductor who composed, in the century since his death, he has become rightly acknowledged as a composer who earned a living by conducting.

Mahler is reputed to have said “the symphony must be like the world. It must embrace everything", and his symphonies certainly rise to this challenge. With the average length of each work standing at well over an hour, Mahler transformed the symphony into an epic journey of psychological discovery, involving the listener like never before in soundworlds of immense depth and vivid colour.

In his quest for such varied music, Mahler’s works are littered with theatrical effects such as music played off-stage, and the idiosyncratic use of instruments such as cowbells, rutes, mandolin, guitar, flugelhorn and, famously in the sixth symphony, a giant hammer. Mahler’s orchestras were of a size rarely seen, before or since. In the second symphony for example, the extravagant instrumentation leads to the orchestra containing 10 French horns, 10 trumpets, 4 oboes, 6 timpani, and in addition, by order of the composer: “The largest possible contingent of strings”.

While such orchestral overindulgence can put many off, behind this panoply is music of almost unimaginable depth, drama and beauty. To experience classical music on its largest expressive scale, Mahler must be listened to.

Recommended Listening:

Symphonies 1,2 3, 5, 6,7,10, Das Liede von Der Erde

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Die Zwei Blauen Augen (arr. Gottwald) PlayClick for Truetone ordering instructions
Ich Bin Der Welt Abhanden Gekommen (arr. Gottwald) PlayClick for Truetone ordering instructions
Symphony No. 1 in D major - Langsam, schleppend PlayClick for Truetone ordering instructions
Symphony No. 1 in D major - Blumine (original second movement) PlayClick for Truetone ordering instructions
Symphony No. 1 in D major - Kraftig bewegt, doch nicht zu schnell PlayClick for Truetone ordering instructions
Symphony No. 1 in D major - Feierlich und gemessen, ohne zu schleppen PlayClick for Truetone ordering instructions
Symphony No. 1 in D major - Sturmisch bewegt PlayClick for Truetone ordering instructions
Symphony No. 2 in C minor - I. Allegro maestoso. Mit durchaus ernstem und feierlichem Ausdruck PlayClick for Truetone ordering instructions
Symphony No. 2 in C minor - II. Andante moderato. Sehr gemachlich PlayClick for Truetone ordering instructions
Symphony No. 2 in C minor - III. In ruhig fliessender Bewegung PlayClick for Truetone ordering instructions
Symphony No. 2 in C minor - IV. Sehr feierlich, aber schlicht PlayClick for Truetone ordering instructions
Symphony No. 2 in C minor - V. Im Tempo des Scherzo. Wild herausfahrend PlayClick for Truetone ordering instructions
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Symphony No.1 - Titan - Kräftig bewegt PlayClick for Truetone ordering instructions
Symphony No.2 in C - Allegro Maestoso PlayClick for Truetone ordering instructions
Symphony No.3 - Comodo PlayClick for Truetone ordering instructions
Symphony No.3 - Kräftig PlayClick for Truetone ordering instructions
Symphony No.4 - Bedächtig nicht eilen PlayClick for Truetone ordering instructions
Symphony No.5 - Adagietto PlayClick for Truetone ordering instructions
Symphony No.6 - Allegro PlayClick for Truetone ordering instructions
Symphony No.6 - Scherzo PlayClick for Truetone ordering instructions
Symphony No.7 - Nachtmusik PlayClick for Truetone ordering instructions
Symphony No.7 - Rondo PlayClick for Truetone ordering instructions