Thursday, August 28, 2014

Bernstein rehearses Mahler It is a wonderful experience to hear and see Leonard Bernstein rehearse the music of Gustav Mahler with The Vienna Philharmonic. It is as if the spirit of Gustav Mahler himself has taken over Bernstein when he discourses the intricate nuances. No one will be able to point a finger at Bernstein of not giving his all when interpreting he intentions of this great composer. These rehearsal are a real testament to the technique of real conducting with the blood and sweat that goes in it. There are tears also involved in what Bernstein gives to bring the music of Mahler to life. Bernstein drives the Vienna Philharmonic to summon the Mahlerian landscapes and set them aflame in the lofty climaxes with an involvement and a commitment that can be a discovery for many listeners who are just entering into Mahler's music. If you have not experienced these rehearsals, do so without hesitation. Bernstein is a perfect Mahlerite. He lives through each performance. It is exciting to watch Bernstein's emotionalism during these rehearsals and see him letting himself go over these performances.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

BBC Great Composer Series on Gustav Mahler It is now 154 years. Gustav Mahler was born on 7th July 1860. One of the greatest composers the world has seen , particularly in the symphonic genre. He was also the leading conductor in his days. He was born a Jew in Kalischt in Bohemia , Austria. He grew up in Iglau. His music was a bridge between the nineteenth-century Austro-German school and the modern composers of the early twentieth century. His music gained popularity after a considerable period of neglect in the first four decades after his death in 1911. Leonard Bernstein was the pioneer who made his music popular by coming out with the first recorded cycle of his symphonies with the New York Philharmonic. His music was repressed during the Nazi regime in Germany. Today, he is a frequently performed composer. Gustav Mahler gave his first piano recital at the age of ten. Mahler joined the Conservatory at Wien and soon became a devotee of Wagner’s music, a supporter of the music of Anton Bruckner and Nietzsche’s philosophy.In 1878, he began his first major work, Das Klagende Lied (‘The Song of Sorrow’).Mahler’s career as a conductor began by conducting operettas at the Austrian provincial theatre of Bad Hall. Mahler went to New York to make his Metropolitan Opera debut on 1 January 1908 and become conductor of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra in 1909. He returned to Vienna the next year on account of a heart ailment he had developed and that finally killed him in 1911. He gave to the world in his fifty years what I could not have given even with thousand years of technique and experience. Though Mahler was a post-Wagnerian Romantic, he became increasingly modern and had a deep impact on most composers such as Schoenberg, Berg, Shostakovich, Britten Henze and Boulez; they have all acknowledged their debt to this great symphonist.