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Why Mahler?: How One Man and Ten Symphonies Changed Our World How One Man and Ten Symphonies Changed Our World

Why Mahler?: How One Man and Ten Symphonies Changed Our World How One Man and Ten Symphonies Changed Our World Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Although Gustav Mahler was a famous conductor in Vienna and New York, the music that he wrote was condemned during his lifetime and for many years after his death in 1911. “Pages of dreary emptiness,” sniffed a leading American conductor. Yet today, almost one hundred years later, Mahler has displaced Beethoven as a box-office draw and exerts a unique influence on both popular music and film scores.

 

Mahler’s coming-of-age began with such 1960s phenomena as Leonard Bernstein’s boxed set of his symphonies and Luchino Visconti’s film Death in Venice, which used Mahler’s music in its sound track. But that was just the first in a series of waves that established Mahler not just as a great composer but also as an oracle with a personal message for every listener. There are now almost two thousand recordings of his music, which has become an irresistible launchpad for young maestros such as Gustavo Dudamel.

 

Why Mahler? Why does his music affect us in the way it does?

 

Norman Lebrecht, one of the world’s most widely read cultural commentators, has been wrestling obsessively with Mahler for half his life. Pacing out his every footstep from birthplace to grave, scrutinizing his manuscripts, talking to those who knew him, Lebrecht constructs a compelling new portrait of Mahler as a man who lived determinedly outside his own times. Mahler was—along with Picasso, Einstein, Freud, Kafka, and Joyce—a maker of our modern world.

 

“Mahler dealt with issues I could recognize,” writes Lebrecht, “with racism, workplace  chaos, social conflict, relationship breakdown, alienation, depression, and the limitations of medical knowledge.” Why Mahler? is a book that shows how music can change our lives.

Review:

"Since the early 1970s, culture commentator Lebrecht (Who Killed Classical Music?) has pursued all things Gustav Mahler: his music, his genius, his problems (from depression to racism). More comprehensive than his 1987 work, Mahler Remembered, this second look at the Austrian composer and conductor adds memoir and meditation to musical analysis for a compelling, opinionated, sometimes overwrought narrative. Noting Mahler's wide-ranging influence today (examples include Leonard Bernstein, a Harry Potter movie, and even Pink Floyd), Lebrecht finds in Mahler 'a maker of music that interacts with what musicians and listeners are feeling in a fast-changing often threatening world.' Throughout, Lebrecht interrupts the text with personal commentary, while being careful to connect the dots linking events in Mahler's life to his musical oeuvre and its realization. In chapters entitled 'Whose Mahler?' and 'How to Mahler' Lebrecht not only tells readers what to listen to, but why. Occasionally, such fervent admiration leads to fevered prose, as when Lebrecht writes that 'the music pulses from him like blood from a severed artery.' With more to appreciate than abhor, Lebrecht's affectionate study, like its subject, is laborious but engaging. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)

Synopsis:

A noted music critic, novelist, and author explains why Gustav Mahler, relatively obscure in his own time, has become the most popular symphonist of today. Equal parts biography, memoir, and appreciation, the work allows a fuller understanding of Mahler and of his abiding place in musical sensibilities.

Synopsis:

Although Gustav Mahler was a famous conductor in Vienna and New York, the music that he wrote was condemned during his lifetime and for many years after his death in 1911. “Pages of dreary emptiness,” sniffed a leading American conductor. Yet today, almost one hundred years later, Mahler has displaced Beethoven as a box-office draw and exerts a unique influence on both popular music and film scores.

 

Mahler’s coming-of-age began with such 1960s phenomena as Leonard Bernstein’s boxed set of his symphonies and Luchino Visconti’s film Death in Venice, which used Mahler’s music in its sound track. But that was just the first in a series of waves that established Mahler not just as a great composer but also as an oracle with a personal message for every listener. There are now almost two thousand recordings of his music, which has become an irresistible launchpad for young maestros such as Gustavo Dudamel.

 

Why Mahler? Why does his music affect us in the way it does?

 

Norman Lebrecht, one of the world’s most widely read cultural commentators, has been wrestling obsessively with Mahler for half his life. Pacing out his every footstep from birthplace to grave, scrutinizing his manuscripts, talking to those who knew him, Lebrecht constructs a compelling new portrait of Mahler as a man who lived determinedly outside his own times. Mahler was—along with Picasso, Einstein, Freud, Kafka, and Joyce—a maker of our modern world.

 

“Mahler dealt with issues I could recognize,” writes Lebrecht, “with racism, workplace  chaos, social conflict, relationship breakdown, alienation, depression, and the limitations of medical knowledge.” Why Mahler? is a book that shows how music can change our lives.

Synopsis:

Norman Lebrecht—noted music critic, novelist, and author of the classic Mahler Remembered—explains why Gustav Mahler, relatively obscure in his own time, has become the most popular symphonist of ours.

 

Although he was well regarded as a conductor, when Gustav Mahler died in 1911 his compositions were considered “incomprehensible” and “unlistenable.” In the 1960s, with Leonard Bernstein’s passionate advocacy, Mahler’s star began to rise. And in 2009, superstar conductor Gustavo Dudamel chose a Mahler symphony for his first concert with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Mahler had famously remarked that his “time will come.” Why Mahler? explores how we have come to find ourselves in Mahler’s time.

 

Norman Lebrecht approaches the question from an unusual and personal angle, discussing how the composer’s music has affected his own life as well as the cultural life of the twentieth century. He travels to Mahler’s birth- and resting places; speaks with surviving members of his family; and delves into why, for many fans, Mahler is not just a composer but a religion, and why, even for less-ardent listeners, Mahler’s popularity has eclipsed that of Haydn or Beethoven.

 

Equal parts biography, memoir, and appreciation, this is a book that will allow us a fuller understanding than we have ever had of Gustav Mahler and of his abiding place in our musical sensibilities.

About the Author

Norman Lebrecht has written several best-selling works of nonfiction, including The Maestro Myth and Who Killed Classical Music? He is also the award-winning author of the novels The Song of Names and The Game of Opposites. He writes regularly for Bloomberg.com and The Wall Street Journal, and he presents The Lebrecht Interview series on BBC Radio 3 and The Record Doctor on WNYC. He lives in London.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780375423819
Subtitle:
How One Man and Ten Symphonies Changed Our World
Publisher:
Pantheon
Author:
Lebrecht, Norman
Subject:
Genres & Styles - Classical
Subject:
Composers & Musicians - General
Subject:
Essays & Travelogues
Subject:
Classical
Subject:
Mahler, Gustav
Subject:
Composers -- Austria.
Subject:
Music - Classical
Publication Date:
20101012
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 0.71 in 1.3125 lb

Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Classical
Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Classical » Biographies
Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Classical » General
Biography » Composers and Musicians
Travel » Travel Writing » General

Why Mahler?: How One Man and Ten Symphonies Changed Our World How One Man and Ten Symphonies Changed Our World
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 336 pages Pantheon Books - English 9780375423819 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Since the early 1970s, culture commentator Lebrecht (Who Killed Classical Music?) has pursued all things Gustav Mahler: his music, his genius, his problems (from depression to racism). More comprehensive than his 1987 work, Mahler Remembered, this second look at the Austrian composer and conductor adds memoir and meditation to musical analysis for a compelling, opinionated, sometimes overwrought narrative. Noting Mahler's wide-ranging influence today (examples include Leonard Bernstein, a Harry Potter movie, and even Pink Floyd), Lebrecht finds in Mahler 'a maker of music that interacts with what musicians and listeners are feeling in a fast-changing often threatening world.' Throughout, Lebrecht interrupts the text with personal commentary, while being careful to connect the dots linking events in Mahler's life to his musical oeuvre and its realization. In chapters entitled 'Whose Mahler?' and 'How to Mahler' Lebrecht not only tells readers what to listen to, but why. Occasionally, such fervent admiration leads to fevered prose, as when Lebrecht writes that 'the music pulses from him like blood from a severed artery.' With more to appreciate than abhor, Lebrecht's affectionate study, like its subject, is laborious but engaging. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
"Synopsis" by , A noted music critic, novelist, and author explains why Gustav Mahler, relatively obscure in his own time, has become the most popular symphonist of today. Equal parts biography, memoir, and appreciation, the work allows a fuller understanding of Mahler and of his abiding place in musical sensibilities.
"Synopsis" by , Although Gustav Mahler was a famous conductor in Vienna and New York, the music that he wrote was condemned during his lifetime and for many years after his death in 1911. “Pages of dreary emptiness,” sniffed a leading American conductor. Yet today, almost one hundred years later, Mahler has displaced Beethoven as a box-office draw and exerts a unique influence on both popular music and film scores.

 

Mahler’s coming-of-age began with such 1960s phenomena as Leonard Bernstein’s boxed set of his symphonies and Luchino Visconti’s film Death in Venice, which used Mahler’s music in its sound track. But that was just the first in a series of waves that established Mahler not just as a great composer but also as an oracle with a personal message for every listener. There are now almost two thousand recordings of his music, which has become an irresistible launchpad for young maestros such as Gustavo Dudamel.

 

Why Mahler? Why does his music affect us in the way it does?

 

Norman Lebrecht, one of the world’s most widely read cultural commentators, has been wrestling obsessively with Mahler for half his life. Pacing out his every footstep from birthplace to grave, scrutinizing his manuscripts, talking to those who knew him, Lebrecht constructs a compelling new portrait of Mahler as a man who lived determinedly outside his own times. Mahler was—along with Picasso, Einstein, Freud, Kafka, and Joyce—a maker of our modern world.

 

“Mahler dealt with issues I could recognize,” writes Lebrecht, “with racism, workplace  chaos, social conflict, relationship breakdown, alienation, depression, and the limitations of medical knowledge.” Why Mahler? is a book that shows how music can change our lives.

"Synopsis" by , Norman Lebrecht—noted music critic, novelist, and author of the classic Mahler Remembered—explains why Gustav Mahler, relatively obscure in his own time, has become the most popular symphonist of ours.

 

Although he was well regarded as a conductor, when Gustav Mahler died in 1911 his compositions were considered “incomprehensible” and “unlistenable.” In the 1960s, with Leonard Bernstein’s passionate advocacy, Mahler’s star began to rise. And in 2009, superstar conductor Gustavo Dudamel chose a Mahler symphony for his first concert with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Mahler had famously remarked that his “time will come.” Why Mahler? explores how we have come to find ourselves in Mahler’s time.

 

Norman Lebrecht approaches the question from an unusual and personal angle, discussing how the composer’s music has affected his own life as well as the cultural life of the twentieth century. He travels to Mahler’s birth- and resting places; speaks with surviving members of his family; and delves into why, for many fans, Mahler is not just a composer but a religion, and why, even for less-ardent listeners, Mahler’s popularity has eclipsed that of Haydn or Beethoven.

 

Equal parts biography, memoir, and appreciation, this is a book that will allow us a fuller understanding than we have ever had of Gustav Mahler and of his abiding place in our musical sensibilities.

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