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Gustav Mahler Biography

Gustav Mahler Tickets

Gustav Mahler In-depth Biography

An Austrian conductor and composer of symphonies and lieder cycles whose most notable works include Das Lied von der Erde} (1909) and Symphony no. 9} (1909). Mahler} was known for the length, depth, and painful emotions of his works. He loved nature and life and, based on early childhood experiences, feared death (family deaths, a suicide, and a brutal rape he witnessed). This duality appears in almost all his compositions, especially in the Kindertotenlieder} ("Songs on the Deaths of Children"), which are actually about the loss of an innocent view of life. Mahler}'s orchestral music is clear, complex, and full of musical imagery, from the heavenly to the banal (the family lived near a military barracks, so march tunes sometimes appear; an argument was associated with the sound of a hurdy-gurdy outside the window). The "program" in the incredible symphonies is therefore that of personal tragedy and hope projected onto a universal scale. The traumas of the 20th century are expressed in the Symphony no. 9} (especially the "Adagio"); the elusiveness of beauty and its loss among harshness and modern tragedies are the subjects of the first and fifth symphonies. Mahler} discovered the verbal expression of this auditory imagery in poems translated from the Chinese of the T'ang dynasty; Das Lied von der Erde} ("The Song of the Earth") was the musical result, expressing the transience of all things in a mixture of warmth and severe beauty. ~ Blue Gene Tyranny, All Music Guide

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