Mahler: His Life & Music
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Mahler: His Life & Music

by Stephen Johnson
     
 

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Sourcebooks MediaFusion and Naxos proudly present this fascinating biography of composer Gustav Mahler.

Among other astonishing compositions, Mahler completed nine symphonies of tremendous emotional range and imaginative power. Stephen Johnson follows Mahler's development as man and composer, and sets out the experiences-the personal joys and sorrows, as well as the

Overview

Sourcebooks MediaFusion and Naxos proudly present this fascinating biography of composer Gustav Mahler.

Among other astonishing compositions, Mahler completed nine symphonies of tremendous emotional range and imaginative power. Stephen Johnson follows Mahler's development as man and composer, and sets out the experiences-the personal joys and sorrows, as well as the broader cultural forces-that formed him and made him one of the most widely loved composers in classical music.

This splendid volume comes complete with two CDs of carefully selected Mahler pieces. Readers also gain access to an exclusive website where they can hear the works in their entirety and explore additional content.

A revolutionary biography utilizing traditional and new media, Mahler: His Life and Music provides a uniquely rounded portrait of this visionary composer and his earthshaking music.
Naxos is the world's leading classical music label and provider of classical music over the Internet at www.naxos.com.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781402207587
Publisher:
Sourcebooks
Publication date:
10/21/2006
Series:
Naxos Bks
Edition description:
1ST
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
636,425
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.75(h) x 0.91(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1
Three Times Homeless

I am three times homeless: a native of Bohemia in Austria; an Austrian among Germans; a Jew throughout the world.

Of all the remarks attributed to Gustav Mahler, this one is perhaps the most famous. From a geographical and ethnic perspective it is, of course, completely accurate. Throughout his life, Mahler was conscious of being an outsider, never quite 'at home'. However, the saying also contains an important spiritual truth. Here Mahler clearly identifies himself with the archetypal romantic figure of 'The Wanderer', celebrated in the titles of three songs by his beloved Schubert, as well as in the same composer's famous 'Wanderer' Fantasy for Piano and great song cycle Winterreise ('Winter Journey'). Mahler may also have had a much older figure at the back of his mind: the legendary 'Wandering Jew', according to tradition punished for mocking Christ as he carried his cross by being condemned to wander over the face of the earth until Judgement Day. In the overwhelmingly Roman Catholic Austrian Empire, anti-Semitism was, as we would now say, 'institutionalised'. The Church still taught that the Jewish people were collectively responsible for the death of Christ, and that their dispersal throughout the world (the so-called 'diaspora') was their divinely ordained punishment. Wherever he went, and no matter how much success he achieved as an artist, Mahler continued to run up against anti-Jewish attitudes — expressed sometimes in the form of mild, unthinking prejudice (routine 'Jewish jokes') and at other times as pure, virulent hostility.

Meet the Author

Stephen Johnson studied at the Northern School of Music, Manchester, under Alexander Goehr at Leeds University, then at Manchester University. Since then he has written regularly for The Independent and The Guardian, and was Chief Music Critic of The Scotsman. He has also broadcast frequently for BBC Radio 3, 4 and World Service, including a series of fourteen programs about the music of Bruckner for the centenary of the composer's death. He is the author of Bruckner Remembered, a contributor to The Cambridge Companion to Conducting, and a regular presenter for Radio 3's Discovering Music. In 2003 Stephen was voted Amazon.com Classical Music Writer of the Year.

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