Tag Archives: Gustav Mahler

Erich Wolfgang Korngold – Die tote Stadt – “Glück das mir verblieb”: make music part of your life


Gustav Mahler – Symphony Nº 5. IV Adagietto | Vienna Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein (4/5) (from Adagietto’s You Tube Channel): make music part of your life series


Gustav Mahler – Symphony Nº 5. IV Adagietto | Vienna Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein (4/5) (from Adagietto’s You Tube Channel)

Gustav Mahler – Symphony Nº 5 in C sharp minor, 1901-02.
Wiener Philharmoniker, Vienna Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein.
[HD] Adagietto http://youtu.be/15WQNKhaCHY

Movements:
I Trauermarsch. In gemessenem Schritt. Streng. Wie ein Kondukt. http://youtu.be/tPpm323M_Ik
II Stürmisch bewegt, mit größter Vehemenz http://youtu.be/JwxrTsSQf0Y
III Scherzo. Kräftig, nicht zu schnell http://youtu.be/SKPlH6L5zeE
IV Adagietto. Sehr langsam. http://youtu.be/yjz2TvC2TT4
V Rondo-Finale. Allegro – Allegro giocoso. Frisch http://youtu.be/U5573xP6JkU

Complete Playlist http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPpm32…

“In the Fourth movement, the famous Adagietto, harp and strings alone play. The opening melody recalls two of Mahler’s songs, “Nun seh’ ich wohl” (from Kindertotenlieder) and the separate Ruckert setting “Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen”. The long upbeats and expressive appoggiaturas of the melodic lines give the music a yearning, almost heart-breaking quality. The intensity that builds up inthis movement finaly assuages the darkness and doubts of the earlier movements, making the lighter mood and extrovert energy of the Rondo-Finale acceptable. Together, these two movements form the third part of the symphony. The formal function of the Adagietto is ambiguous. It acts as an introduction to the last movement, which follows without a break, and is thematically bound to it, for twice in the Finale we hear the Adagietto’s main theme, now at a fast tempo. The Adagietto also functions as a slow interlude in F major, between two faster movements in D major; but is also has an expressive weight sufficient for it to stand on its own – indeed, it is often performed by itself.

Even without a text or programme, the music’s emotional and referential content implies an existential dimension. Without an explicit programme or titles, we have few clues to the “meaning” of the Fifth Symphony other than the music itself. Mahler offers some guidance by grouping the five movements, which share some thematic Material, as well as an obsession with death, from the first part; the central scherzo stands alone as the second part; and the lat two movements, which are also linked thematically, form the third.

An essential aspect of Mahler’s symphonies is the idea of emotional and spiritual progression, through various alternatives to a (provisional) conclusion. One important means he uses to articulate this spiritual journey is the technique of progressive tonality. In other symphonies he begins and ends movements in diferent keys, but in the Fifth each movement begins and ends in the same key; however as a whole, it moves from C sharp minor opening movement to the D major of the third and fifth movements.

One reason for Mahler’s significance and influence as a composer is that he viewed his music as a means of seeking and expressing solutions to the problems of his personal, spiritual life. The Depth and seriousness of these problems naturally drew him to the largescale form of the symphony, wich he expanded in length and number of movements to unprecedented proportions.

Mahler kept revising the orchestration of this work until his death. He conducted the first performance with the Gürzenich Orchestra in Cologne on October 18, 1904. He’d begun the Fifth Symphony at Maiernegg in 1901 – writing the third, first and second movements in that order, after a death-obsessed song, “Der Tamboursg’sell,” and the Kindertotenlieder cycle (“on the death of children”). After nearly bleeding to death the previous winter (from an intestinal hemorrhage), Mahler’s symphonic orientation underwent a profound change. Mahler cast his Fifth Symphony in five movements that fall naturally into three parts.

The First begins in C sharp minor with a Funeral March, of measured tread and austere (Movement I). A sonata-form movement follows, marked “Stormily, with greatest vehemence” (Movement II), which shares themes as well as mood with the opening.

The Second Part (which Mahler composed first) is a Scherzo: “Vigorously, not too fast” (Movement III) — the symphony’s shortest large section, but its longest single movement. This emphatically joyous, albeit manic movement puts forward D major as the work’s focal key. Although its form has remained a topic of debate since 1904, rondo and sonata-form elements are both present.

Part Three begins with a seraphic Adagietto: “Very slowly” (Movement IV). This is indubitably related to the Rückert song Mahler composed in August 1901, “Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen” (I have become lost to the world…I live alone in my heaven, in my loving, in my song). A Rondo-Finale: “Allegro giocoso, lively” (Movement V) concludes the symphony, although Mahler devised a form far removed from classic models. While sectional, in truth episodic, this too has elements of sonata form.

Brahms Tragische Ouvertüre – Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra [HD] (great compostions/performances)


Brahms Tragische Ouvertüre
Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest / Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra o.l.v. Daniele Gatti
3 oktober 2010 Concertgebouw Amsterdam

 

make music part of your life series: Leoš Janáček: Lachian Dances (1889/90)


[youtube.com/watch?v=wOJdsMcmpDw]

Leoš Janáček: Lachian Dances (1889/90)

Leoš Janáček (1854 – 1928), perhaps more than any other composer of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including Gustav Mahler and Sergey Rahmaninov, represents a puzzling case in point as for the cultural and spiritual seismic shift that took place between the 1870s/’80s and the 1920s. He comes from a world already shaken by the French Revolution and all subsequent revolutions up to 1848, yet still sufficiently alive so to remember the old ways: fairy tales and folk legends, style, distinction, Monarchy, Catholicism. This last quarter of the 19th century was at the same time the pontificate of Pope Leo XIII, who indeed fought like a lion in order to ward off the meanwhile 360° onslaught, open and hidden, against the old order and the Catholic Church. However, Janáček, like so many of his generation, was drawn into those false promises of a “new era”, whether pan-Slavic, pantheist, or plain modernist. Still he kept the memories of the old world of his childhood days. His musical oeuvre, especially his folkloristic works, so painfully as well as articulately shows what had been lost – lost forever …

Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra, Bratislava
Ondrej Lenárd, conductor

Recorded at Bratislava on January 29/30, 1990

Taken from the CD: “Janáček: Sinfonietta / Lachian Dances / Taras Bulba”, released by NAXOS. Order that CD here: http://www.amazon.com/Jan%C3%A1cek-Si…
or from your local CD-shop.
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See also the connected blog: http://thecontemplativeobserver.wordp….

Leoš Janáček: Lachian Dances (1889/90)


Leoš Janáček (1854 – 1928), perhaps more than any other composer of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including Gustav Mahler and Sergey Rahmaninov, represents a puzzling case in point as for the cultural and spiritual seismic shift that took place between the 1870s/’80s and the 1920s. He comes from a world already shaken by the French Revolution and all subsequent revolutions up to 1848, yet still sufficiently alive so to remember the old ways: fairy tales and folk legends, style, distinction, Monarchy, Catholicism. This last quarter of the 19th century was at the same time the pontificate of Pope Leo XIII, who indeed fought like a lion in order to ward off the meanwhile 360° onslaught, open and hidden, against the old order and the Catholic Church. However, Janáček, like so many of his generation, was drawn into those false promises of a “new era”, whether pan-Slavic, pantheist, or plain modernist. Still he kept the memories of the old world of his childhood days. His musical oeuvre, especially his folkloristic works, so painfully as well as articulately shows what had been lost – lost forever …

 

Mahler Symphony No.5. IV Adagietto | Leonard Bernstein (4/5)



Gustav MahlerSymphony No. 5
IV Adagietto. Sehr langsam.
Vienna Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein

“In the Fourth movement, the famous Adagietto, harp and strings alone play. The opening melody recalls two of Mahler’s songs, “Nun seh’ ich wohl” (from Kindertotenlieder) and the separate Ruckert setting “Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen”. The long upbeats and expressive appoggiaturas of the melodic lines give the music a yearning, almost heart-breaking quality. The intensity that builds up inthis movement finaly assuages the darkness and doubts of the earlier movements, making the lighter mood and extrovert energy of the Rondo-Finale acceptable. Together, these two movements form the third part of the symphony. The formal function of the Adagietto is ambiguous. It acts as an introduction to the last movement, which follows without a break, and is thematically bound to it, for twice in the Finale we hear the Adagietto’s main theme, now at a fast tempo. The Adagietto also functions as a slow interlude in F major, between two faster movements in D major; but is also has an expressive weight sufficient for it to stand on its own – indeed, it is often performed by itself.

Even without a text or programme, the music’s emotional and referential content implies an existential dimension. Without an explicit programme or titles, we have few clues to the “meaning” of the Fifth Symphony other than the music itself. Mahler offers some guidance by grouping the five movements, which share some thematic Material, as well as an obsession with death, from the first part; the central scherzo stands alone as the second part; and the lat two movements, which are also linked thematically, form the third.
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Valentina Nafornita – Erich Wolfgang Korngold – ‘Gluck Das Mir Verblieb’ from the operat ‘Die Tote Stadt’


BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2011, Concert Three from St David’s Hall in Cardiff, 15 June, 2011.

Valentina Nafornita (Soprano) from Moldova performs:

Gluck das mir verlieb (Die tote Stadt) – Korngold
Amour, ranime mon courage (Romeo et Juliette) – Gounod

Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1897-1957) was a composer of operas, songs, orchestral works, and -most notably – film scores.

Kornhold was born on 29th May 1897 in a Jewish home in Brünn (Brno), Austria–Hungary, now the Czech Republic. He was the second son of the eminent music critic Julius Korngold. A child prodigy, Erich played his cantata Gold to Gustav Mahler in 1906; Mahler called him a “musical genius”, and recommended study with the composer Alexander von Zemlinsky. At the age of eleven he composed his ballet Der Schneemann (The Snowman), which caused a sensation when performed at the Vienna Court Opera in 1910, including a command performance for Emperor Franz Josef. This work was followed by a piano trio, then by his second piano sonata, which Artur Schnabel played throughout Europe. During his early years Korngold also made player-piano music rolls for the Aeolian Duo-Art system, all of which survive today.

Korngold wrote his first orchestral score, the Schauspiel Ouverture when he was fourteen. His Sinfonietta appeared the following year, and his first two operas, Der Ring des Polykrates and Violanta, in 1914. He completed his opera Die tote Stadt, which became an international success, in 1920 at the age of twenty-three. At this point Korngold had reached the zenith of his fame as a composer of opera and concert music.