Author Topic: How did'ya discover Mahler?  (Read 31562 times)

Ivor

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Re: How did'ya discover Mahler?
« Reply #15 on: June 13, 2007, 12:00:04 PM »
And everyone else?

Offline waderice

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Re: How did'ya discover Mahler?
« Reply #16 on: October 16, 2009, 11:27:51 AM »
I just joined the Gustav Mahler board, and this is my first post.

I first discovered Mahler in a music appreciation (classical) class I took in college; the year was approximately 1969.  At that time, I believe it was Bernstein who was the only conductor thus far to complete the first recorded cycle of the symphonies.  During that class, our recorded program guide presented a short snippet from Part II of the Eighth Symphony; I distinctly remember it being Bernstein's LSO recording.  The program guide publicized the Eighth as the "Symphony of a Thousand".  I was intrigued by the idea conceptualizing the sound of a thousand performers, and soon checked out Bernstein's recording from the college library.  Though the sound was colossal to my ears, the basis for the work was too advanced for my developing ear and immature cultural being, which has long since been remedied.

It didn't take too long for me to discover other Mahler works.  If I'm not mistaken, it was either the Second or the Third Symphony that I investigated next; the Bernstein/NYPO Columbia and the Haitink/Concertgebouw recordings, respectively.

At the same time, I was also developing as a singer in church and community choral groups.  In 1973, a musical highlight of my life was to be able to sing in performances of the Second Symphony, and the following year, in the Eighth Symphony.  Oddly enough, I had performed Mahler before I had the opportunity to sing in performances of Beethoven's Ninth, which occurred in 1976.

It is now forty years since I discovered Gustav Mahler.  You can say that I've been a lifelong Mahler student, and will be, until I die.

Offline Leo K

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Re: How did'ya discover Mahler?
« Reply #17 on: November 10, 2009, 08:36:20 AM »
I just joined the Gustav Mahler board, and this is my first post.

I first discovered Mahler in a music appreciation (classical) class I took in college; the year was approximately 1969.  At that time, I believe it was Bernstein who was the only conductor thus far to complete the first recorded cycle of the symphonies.  During that class, our recorded program guide presented a short snippet from Part II of the Eighth Symphony; I distinctly remember it being Bernstein's LSO recording.  The program guide publicized the Eighth as the "Symphony of a Thousand".  I was intrigued by the idea conceptualizing the sound of a thousand performers, and soon checked out Bernstein's recording from the college library.  Though the sound was colossal to my ears, the basis for the work was too advanced for my developing ear and immature cultural being, which has long since been remedied.

It didn't take too long for me to discover other Mahler works.  If I'm not mistaken, it was either the Second or the Third Symphony that I investigated next; the Bernstein/NYPO Columbia and the Haitink/Concertgebouw recordings, respectively.

At the same time, I was also developing as a singer in church and community choral groups.  In 1973, a musical highlight of my life was to be able to sing in performances of the Second Symphony, and the following year, in the Eighth Symphony.  Oddly enough, I had performed Mahler before I had the opportunity to sing in performances of Beethoven's Ninth, which occurred in 1976.

It is now forty years since I discovered Gustav Mahler.  You can say that I've been a lifelong Mahler student, and will be, until I die.


Thank you for sharing, I really enjoyed reading this...welcome to the board!!

--Todd

Offline stillivor

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Re: How did'ya discover Mahler?
« Reply #18 on: April 05, 2010, 04:24:42 AM »
This is a useful thread for recent arrivals, not to mention those who haint responded yet.

Btw, is there a point to the 'not been posted on for 120 days etc.' warning?    ???


    Ivor

Offline Freddy van Maurik

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Re: How did'ya discover Mahler?
« Reply #19 on: April 05, 2010, 10:46:31 AM »
For me, it was TV broadcast of Abbado's inaugauration concert with the Berliner in 1989 (broadcast in the Netherlands in the summer of 1991). I was 14 years old, trying to catch every bit of classical music on TV (more so than radio), because I had just discovered the magic it carried within. For that reason I had our VCR running and I was trying to do some homework with Mahler's First symphony sounding in the background. My homework had to give way within seconds; as soon as the reveille's in the the clarinets and trumpets sounded, I was bewitched by this extraordinary music. And this enchantment never left me...

Offline Leo K

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Re: How did'ya discover Mahler?
« Reply #20 on: April 05, 2010, 10:50:08 PM »
For me, it was TV broadcast of Abbado's inaugauration concert with the Berliner in 1989 (broadcast in the Netherlands in the summer of 1991). I was 14 years old, trying to catch every bit of classical music on TV (more so than radio), because I had just discovered the magic it carried within. For that reason I had our VCR running and I was trying to do some homework with Mahler's First symphony sounding in the background. My homework had to give way within seconds; as soon as the reveille's in the the clarinets and trumpets sounded, I was bewitched by this extraordinary music. And this enchantment never left me...

I taped that program too!!!  I was 18 then...first time I really took notice of Abbado as well...I wish I could see that doc again.

--Todd

Offline stillivor

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Re: How did'ya discover Mahler?
« Reply #21 on: April 06, 2010, 01:42:17 AM »
Maybe it'l turn up on wonderful YouTube


    Ivor

Offline Roland Flessner

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Re: How did'ya discover Mahler?
« Reply #22 on: April 07, 2010, 08:03:00 PM »
I had just started high school, and my family had moved to a smaller town, which was kind of depressing. I had been listening to classical music for a couple years and I knew that I would miss having a well-stocked public library nearby.

On PBS I watched a performance of M1, and the third movement struck me like a thunderbolt. I loved how it was simultaneously serious and satiric, and from that moment I could recognize Mahler's music almost instantly.

I bought M1 with Adrian Boult and the Vienna Symphony (not the Phil), on Vanguard I think, and began acquiring other symphonies as meager proceeds from delivering newspapers would allow. I remember having M3 and M9 with Abravanel, and later, M9 with Walter/Columbia, a recording I liked much better, though it would be a few more years before I really understood the music.

One day I turned on WFMT in the middle of M6. After about two notes I said to myself, This is Mahler, and this is my favorite of all I've heard so far.

I attended a small college in Iowa, and one of the benefits of it being a small school was that I walked into the radio station offering my services for anything classical, and was immediately anointed the Classical Director. The faculty advisor was a Mahler enthusiast, and the station manager explained, "If you go to Bob with a purchase order, make sure you include some Mahler and he will sign it immediately." True enough! (Bob is a great guy, we became good friends, and he's one of the last teachers I knew there who's still around. We keep in touch.)

A bit OT, Prokofiev was another of my early enthusiasms, and each time I revisit his music, my estimation of his greatness rises. Last weekend I picked up a copy of "Cinderella" complete on two MHS LPs with Rozhdestvensky and the Moscow Radio Symphony. The discs are fine pressings in miraculously good condition, the performance is outstanding, the sound is way above average for Soviet-era recordings, and the intelligent, perceptive liner notes by David J. Rabinowitz are a blooming miracle.

Offline stillivor

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Re: How did'ya discover Mahler?
« Reply #23 on: April 08, 2010, 09:17:16 AM »
Oh to get a job in a radio station like that!

I was told by our radio station that white hair rules me out immediately!!!


  But then, I think it's different, totally different, either side of the pond.

On the other hand, I could give it a go. I assume if i reallly,really, really, really, really believe I'm going to get the job, then naturally i will.


    Ivor

Offline hrandall

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Re: How did'ya discover Mahler?
« Reply #24 on: May 27, 2011, 07:02:39 AM »
Is it OK to post to a topic that's out of date? I thought it would make sense to add my story in the same thread with everyone else. I've enjoyed reading all of your contributions.

I always liked classical music but never really collected much. I had some favorites, Tchaikovsky primarily, Bach, Vivaldi, Chopin (my wife is from Poland, so it's a requirement that I love Chopin!). I also really like chant and early vocal music. I'd never much listened to entire symphonies. I also spent all of middle school and high school playing brass instruments, tuba primarily, at which I was pretty decent if I may be a bit immodest. Bass trombone, trumpet were sidelines. A little electric guitar - very little! More for noise, and impressing girls. :) Well, I was more successful with the noise aspect. :)

Rock was my primary music interest. In the last few years I'd listened to more classical music, and then about a year ago, my local public library received a very large donation of CDs, nearly all classical and covering a very wide spectrum of composers, conductors, periods. I began to borrow these, working my way through the collection. On a lark, I brought home a Mahler CD, first symphony. I greatly enjoyed it, enough to work my way through the others in succession. I paid more attention to some than to others, surprisingly M2 didn't really grab me. I think I maybe didn't get all the way through it. (that's changed now, of course).

Then I brought home M8 (Sinopoli) - blind, I had no idea what to expect. Put it in the CD player, turned it on, cranked it up, walked out of the room to go do something, heard the initial organ blast and choir entry and came running back into the room, speechless. Sat through it all. Was completely hooked from that point on.

I guess the moral of my story is that if you do donate music (or a favorite book) to your local library, know that sometimes it can have a profound and positive effect on someone's life.

Cheers,
Herb

Offline wagnerlover

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Re: How did'ya discover Mahler?
« Reply #25 on: May 27, 2011, 10:15:28 AM »
In the early 80s when I bought my first cd player, I went to Tower in Manhattan and asked a clerk what was the first classical cd I should get.  He handed me the (2-disc) Solti M8.  I never got through the whole piece.  Later, several years later, I came accross the Kubelik M1 coupled with FiDi singing Wayfarer Songs. I bought it because a) I liked Kubelik's handling of Wagner and 2) it was CHEAP.   I loved it, and soon invested in the Kubelik Mahler box.  That began my Mahler addiction.  I still enjoy the Kubelik, but I have 3 Bernstein sets, the Bertini, 2 Haitink sets, the Philharmonic broadcasts, and dozens of singles.

Also since I live in NYC, I get to hear a few Mahler symphonies live each year. 

Mahler and Wagner have added a lot to my life.

daniel

Offline wagnerlover

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Re: How did'ya discover Mahler?
« Reply #26 on: May 27, 2011, 10:20:18 AM »
Actually, right after the Kubelik M1 came Maazel and the VPO M4.

It's probably a case of being faithful to my "first" but I still love Kubelik.  More often than not, now, though, I listen to the live versions on Audite.

daniel

Offline bergman

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Re: How did'ya discover Mahler?
« Reply #27 on: May 27, 2011, 07:52:35 PM »
My first introduction to Mahler was towards the end of my senior year of high school. I always loved classical music, but I felt like I hadn’t found ‘my’ composer yet. I acquired the Bernstein Sony Box on a whim, after reading so many good things about Mahler on the web. I remember being super excited as I opened the box and saw that purple and orange Bernstein face. I went to my room, started listening, and… I really couldn’t get into it. The symphonies were too long and they just sounded strange to me. I remember that I could never finish any of the symphonies. I don’t even remember if I got through the first movement of any of them.

Fast forward a bit… I am now in college, having a terrible first week. I don’t like my roommate, I feel lost, and I don’t have anyone to talk to… So I turn to that purple and orange face on the box of Mahler symphonies. "Hello Lenny." I decide to give it another try. I pop in the M2, put my headphones on, and close my eyes. HOLY CRAP! What the hell was I thinking back at home? The symphony blew me away! It felt like I just went on some huge journey and ended up flying through the air and… and… holy crap. I instantly identified with Mahler’s music, and I knew that from then on, my life would never be the same.

Fast forward to now… I just graduated from college. I now have over forty Mahler discs, five Mahler books, three Mahler DVDs, and a brand new turntable with eight Mahler lps. I found this board (which has helped me make Mahler purchasing decisions), and I dragged my parents to Tanglewood to see Haitink conduct the M2. (They looked clueless throughout. Classical music doesn’t do anything for them. My dad said, “Well, I don’t know what just happened, but at least there were loud parts.”)

So my Mahler journey started out slow, but when it kicked into gear – it REALLY kicked into gear. I cannot wait to continue discovering great Mahler and sharing my thoughts with you all. I’ve got the Fischer M2 on its way…

-Matt

Offline stillivor

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Re: How did'ya discover Mahler?
« Reply #28 on: May 29, 2011, 04:32:03 AM »
So lovely to read about the many different routes people have taken - well each of us is on their individual path after all.

Ivor

P.S. As far as I know, there's nothing to stop anyone reviving any existing thread.

The point og the warning about 30 days [is it?] at the top of old threads does puzzle me a little.

Offline brunumb

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Re: How did'ya discover Mahler?
« Reply #29 on: May 29, 2011, 03:54:31 PM »
My earliest memories of Mahler come from my uni days and are somewhat shrouded by the mists of time.  I had joined the World Record club and remember being fascinated by the description of the "Resurrection" symphony and ordered the LP.  It was the recording by the LSO with Solti and I was completely taken in by it.  That I think was the beginning.

A lecturer who was a keen Mahler fan lent me a recording of the fifth symphony which I also immediately loved.  I eagerly awaited the WRC catalogues and scoured them for new Mahler issues.  Back then, the Gramophone magazine published a small booklet of recommended recordings which I bought and used to help me decide which versions to look out for.

Another occasion that is burned in my memory was from a very hot Sunday afternoon in summer.  I was lying on my cheap, rather uncomfortable bed (poor uni student  :'() trying to escape from the heat by dozing and listening to the radio.  The program was Music for Pleasure with John Cargher on the ABC here in Melbourne.  Half asleep I became aware of an incredible piece of music that was playing with a female vocalist.  It was Der Abschied from Das Lied von der Erde and I was transfixed.  I am not sure which recording it was, but it may have been Yvonne Minton with the Chicago SO conducted by Georg Solti because that is the LP I immediately bought.  It is still a favourite, as is the LSO/Solti recording of the 2nd symphony.

The rest, as they say, is history.  I have many recordings of Mahler, and although I don't need any more I still keep buying them.  When I consider exactly how many I have, I break out into a cold sweat.  If I admitted how many here you might be right in thinking I suffer from an OCD.  But then again there are worse conditions to suffer from.

 

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