For me, to create a symphony is to create a world.
- Gustav Mahler (1860-1911)
Today marks the 150th birthday of composer and conductor Gustav Mahler.
Richard S Ginell offers an appreciation in The Los Angeles Times. Enthusiasts and music professionals will already acquainted with the work and resources of the International Gustav Mahler Society. Don't miss 'How Gustav Mahler saved my life,' an entry by Tim Smith in his blog Clef Notes (Baltimore Sun).
For my own part, the symphonies of Mahler have been works that one befriends throughout like. Years ago, the cycle recorded by Bernard Haitink and the Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam provided an earth-shattering formative experience. There is a moment in the life of any young person (or at least, there should be) when one gets a sense of just how very much is out there. And my mountaintop orchestra experience in a concert hall remains a Mahler Ninth performance I heard in Philadelphia led by Klaus Tennstedt. Tennstedt had come through an ordeal with throat cancer. The music flowed out of him, and the Philadelphia Orchestra played for him as I have never heard them play for anyone else. The experience was powerful, and unforgettable.