Thursday, February 02, 2006

From Mozart to Mahler

The world is celebrating Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. You hear his music everywhere! Also this year is the 100th anniversary of Dmitri Shostakovich's birth. In a few weeks two local orchestras are playing the Fifth and Tenth symphonies by the Russian Master.

Then in a month or so two orchestras are playing Mahler's Second and Sixth Symphonies.
Gustav Mahler is one of those giants who lumbers onto the scene, and when he leaves, you're musically exhausted. He's also one of the composers whose works I believe work realy, really well with regional orchestras (not that you shouldn't hear a great orchestra play one) because, unlike Beethoven, Mahler wrote out every single technique, nuance, and note that can be followed to a t. (Beethoven is more mysterious and takes much more handling, insight, et al.)

So for the last few nights I've been revisiting (and exhausting myself musically!) Mahler's symphonies, with a new set from Angel/EMI of the Cologne Radio Symphony and Gary Bertini. It's a live set from the early 1990s on a Japan tour.

I'll be taking the complete journey through all ten symphonies, and the Song of the Earth (on the 11 disc set as well) over the next several days.

This weekend instead of Super Bowl XL I'll hear Joan Tower's Made in America in Manhattan. If I'm still getting through the cycle (almost 800 minutes of listening!) I'll take it on the train with me.

[I also think this is an interesting program and parallel: The Buffalo Philharmonic is playing Mozart Symphony No. 41 and Mahler Symphony No. 1 this weekend, "From Mozart to Mahler".]

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