Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Gustav Mahler

Andrew has completed one of his final assignments. He has written about the discs currently in our player that we have been listening to. Now Andrew only has three more assignments to complete before his blog goes on hiatus: Caspar David Friedrich, the Vienna Philharmonic, and a note on three current American conductors.

When Andrew and I are done listening to the current round of discs, we are going to listen to Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 7. We will do so because that work will be performed at one of the Proms concerts we will attend next month.

I am unfamiliar with the Mahler Seventh, so we plan to listen to the Pierre Boulez recording with the Cleveland Orchestra on the Deutsche Grammophon label.

Andrew has already mailed to his brother in Denver a different recording of the Mahler Symphony No. 7. He sent his brother the Claudio Abbado recording with the Chicago Symphony, also on the Deutsche Grammophon label. Andrew sent the disc last week so that his brother could become familiar with the work before hearing it in London.

Andrew’s brother has already received the disc and he has already listened to it. He told us tonight that he hates the Mahler Seventh. He told us that listening to the Mahler Seventh was as stimulating as looking forward to a return visit to The Petrie Museum, both of which he claims will be about as much fun as a visit to the dentist.

Even though our Proms tickets are already purchased, Andrew’s brother may decide to skip the Mahler Seventh. If I don’t like the work after listening to it a few times, I may skip the Mahler Seventh, too.

I liked the Mahler Fifth I heard with Andrew. I also liked the Mahler Sixth I heard with Andrew. However, I hated the Mahler Second I heard with Andrew. We missed “The Song Of The Earth” because of a snowstorm.

Andrew told me that if I liked the Sixth, I’ll like the Seventh, even though it is completely different from the Sixth. I guess I’ll find out soon enough.

I sure hope Andrew’s brother doesn’t misplace that other recording of the Mahler Seventh that Andrew sent to him!

He mentioned to Andrew tonight that he wasn’t sure, but that he thought he might have thrown it out by mistake!


  1. I know it is all a matter of personal taste, but I can't imagine hating Mahler's Second.I find the piece transcendental and the "Resurrection" chorale in the brass and chorus is almost enough to make a believer out of me. It is one of those pieces I will go out of my way to hear--I think I have heard it performed five or six times.

    But as I said, I guess it all comes down to personal taste.

    If you haven't been to the Proms before you may want to go even if you don't like Mahler's 7th. Thanks to the prommers on the main floor, the experience can be a cultural experience of a different kind.

  2. We have tickets to four different Proms concerts. If I skip the Mahler Seventh, I will still have three other Proms concerts to attend.

    Andrew and I were not in the mood to hear Mahler the night we went to hear the Mahler Second.