Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J., RIP
The Third Sunday of Advent

Music of the Week: Mahler - Symphony #1

I haven’t done much listening this week since Tuesday afternoon when I listened to Mahler’s 2nd. So, since I’ve been on the subject of Mahler, I’m going to cheat a little and pull a comment on his 1st from an old Sunday Night Journal. I was writing about a concert I’d attended and I had this to say about the symphony:

This was as enthralling a musical experience as I’ve ever had. It had been so long since I’d heard the symphony that it sounded fresh, and I found it to be even better than I remembered. Mahler originally saw the work as depicting an artist’s innocent exuberance, rejection, disillusionment, suffering, and rebirth, but I hear something else. From my vantage point in the early 21st century I hear this late 19th century work as a prophecy of what the next hundred years would bring. The third movement in particular, Frere Jacques transmuted into a funeral march that turns slightly deranged as it goes on, seemed a window opening onto the distant vista of Germany’s impending madness. And the putative triumph of the fourth movement seemed overwrought and unsound, a victory likely to prove temporary.

You can read the entire post here; it’s mainly a tribute to the Mobile Symphony and other small orchestras. I always recommend this symphony to anyone who doesn’t know Mahler, because it’s of a manageable length and very melodic (the opening is magical to me). However, the discussion here of the 2nd indicated that my view is not shared by everyone.



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)