Welcome to a View from the Podium special series- Mahler, a Performer’s Perspective, originally commissioned by The Bridgewater Hall for the Mahler in Manchester festival in 2010. Since the completion of the cycle in 2010, the series has continued to evolve and develop as I’ve continued to study, perform and record Mahler’s music.
(Ken conducts the music of Gustav Mahler on this SOMM CD)
We thought that it would be most interesting and useful to offer a behind the scenes look at the issues these astounding works pose for interpreters and performers. If you’ve ever wanted to know what keeps conductors up at nights when preparing a Mahler symphony, or wondered what it feels like to be the principal trumpet player ten seconds before the downbeat of Mahler 5, you’ve come to the right place.
Here you can share some of my own experiences of coming to terms with each of the symphonies as a conductor, and reflecting on what it was like to play them in my past life as an orchestra cellist. Each work has it’s own challenges, riddles, paradoxes and problems. If you’ve ever wondered which is the tougher job- conducting all of Mahler 2 or conducting the offstage band in Mahler 2, I can tell you.
Meanwhile, thank you for reading. I hope these posts will enhance your listening experience, and that many of you will be inspired to join the conversation by sharing your comments. If there is a topic you would like us to explore as part of this series, please feel free to suggest it by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I-Performer’s Perspective- Is Mahler’s music hard(er) to conduct?
II-Performer’s Perspective- Mahler 1, a challenge
III- Performer’s Perspective- Mahler 2, a riddle
IV- Conductor Conversations- Gianandrea Noseda on Mahler
V- Performer’s Perspective- Mahler 2, a moment
VI-Performer’s Perspective- Das Lied von der Erde, a rebirth
VII-Performer’s Perspective- Mahler 2, a roadmap
VIII-Performer’s Perspective- Let’s Dance
XI-Performer’s Perspective- Mahler 3, a shout-out
XII-Performer’s Perspective- Mahler 3, a lost friend
XIII-Performer’s Perspective- Mahler 4, a contradiction
XIV-Performer’s Perspective- Mahler 3, a scherzo on a poem
XV-Performer’s Perspective- Mahler 5, a tempo
XVI-Performer’s Perspective- Mahler 5, two changes
XVIII-Another Perspective- Peter Davison on the Adagietto.
XIX-Performer’s Perspective- Mahler 6, a decision
XXI-Another perspective- Peter Davison on Mahler 7
XXII-Performer’s Perspective- Mahler 7, a degree of difficulty
XXIII-A flawed perspective? Mahler and Rott
XXIV- Performer’s Perspective- Mahler 7, a culmination
XXV-Performer’s Perspective- Mahler 8, drama before the downbeat
XXVI-Listener’s Perspective- Mahler 8, just the facts
XXVII- Trumpeter’s Perspective- Mahler 5, a solo with Smock
XXVIII- Trumpeter’s Perspective- Mahler 5, a solo with Scharz
XXIX-Expert’s Perspective- Mahler 8, what is the “Eternal Feminine”
XXX- Expert’s Perspective- Mahler 9, a bitter burlesque
XXXI-Performer’s Perspective- Mahler 9, a meditation after a drama
XXXII- Expert’s Perspective- Mahler 10, a crisis
XXXIII- Future Performer’s Perspective- Mahler 10, am I late yet?
XXXIV-Performer’s Perspective- DLvdE. Why not this Mahler?
XXXV- Performer’s Perspective- Song of the Earth Why this 6 minutes of Mahler?
XXXVI- Performer’s Perspective- Ninth Symphony: Celebrating a Mahlerian Centenary
XXXVII- Performer’s Perspective- Mahler 5- It was NOT all just a damn dream