Mahler Mondays all Summer on Symphony @ 7

A bust of Gustav Mahler. The late-Romantic composer was one of the most influential conductors of his time.(Photo: Renaud Camus)
A bust of Gustav Mahler. The late-Romantic composer was one of the most influential conductors of his time.(Photo: Renaud Camus)

This evening on Symphony @ 7 we begin our ” Mahler Monday” series on Classical 101.  Each Monday evening until Labor Day, we’ll be playing one of the symphonies of this great Late-Romantic Austrian composer.  We’ll also have time for the song cycles and Das Lied von der Erde (The Song of the Earth), a symphony in all but name.

Gustav Mahler wrote huge symphonies, most over an hour long, expanding the boundaries of symphonic form to express the Romantic ethos of the time in its most extensive elaboration.  From personal intimate memories of childhood, to a vision of the end of the world and the biblical Judgement Day itself, Mahler’s symphonies express a sensitive artist’s response to the world using all the resources of the orchestra (and sometimes solo voices and chorus) available at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th Centuries.

This evening we begin with Symphony No. 1 in D that Mahler originally titled “Titan” but then dropped the name.  Indeed, the music in this nearly hour long first symphony speaks for itself eloquently enough, and in fact, you know some really big stuff is going on here before too long.  From a magical evocation of nature and childhood, to death and a funeral march,  from the banal to the sublime, the major themes of Mahler’s later works are already here.

Mahler once famously said “the symphony must be like the world, it must contain everything.”  From innocence to experience, to life, love and death, its all there in this amazing music that forms a bridge from the end of the Romantic Era of the 19th Century to the beginning of the Modern Era of the 20th.  Begin this grand symphonic journey with me Monday evenings here on Classical 101 for “Mahler Monday.”

 

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