The Austrian newspaper Der Standard reviews Zubin Mehta’s performance of Gustav Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder [Songs on the Death of Infants] with the Vienna Philharmonic at the Salzburg Festival: a “‘Viennese’ and existential event” – read the full review on Der Standard.
For our book “Gustav Mahler: The Conductor’s Interviews” we talked to the conductor about Mahler. Find out more on our dedicated page or watch the interview with Mehta on YouTube.
Gustav Mahler was born today in 1860 – happy birthday!
We asked the world’s best conductors when they first heard the music of Mahler – this is what they said:
“It should be one’s sole endeavour to see everything afresh and create it anew.” (Gustav Mahler in H-L. La Grange: Mahler)
Tonight the ensemble mini will perform Michelle Castelletti’s chamber arrangement of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No 10 at the Musikbrauerei in Berlin.
Possibly one of Mahler’s most passionate emotional outbursts and autobiographical creations, Mahler’s Symphony No. 10 is a fascinating journey, not only for performance aspects, but also for musicological and analytical ones, providing a deep psychological pathway into the genius that was Mahler – a mesmerising voyage for the composer, performer and conductor. (Michelle Castelletti)
On 24 March, John Storgårds will conduct the Finnish première of Michelle Castelletti’s arrangement of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 10 in Korundi.
Here’s a snapshot from Friday’s festivities of the 60th anniversary of the Internationale Gustav Mahler Gesellschaft (IGMG) at the Glass Hall of the Musikverein in Vienna – the society was founded in 1955 at the suggestion of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, with honorary president Bruno Walter and honorary member Alma Mahler.
The reception and a commemorative speech were followed by a book presentation and a performance by Thomas Hampson and the Wiener Virtuosen.
The choreographer succinctly summarized his ballet: “A man and a woman; death takes the man; they both return to her and at the end of the ballet, we find that in death there is the promise of renewal.”
Watch a video in which Royal Ballet principals Laura Morera, Nehemiah Kish and Edward Watson rehearse the piece with Monica Mason and notator Grant Coyle:
John Neumeier has always anchored his work in his profound musicality but it is probably in the music of Gustav Mahler that he has found the most profound echo of his own preoccupations, of his artistic universe. Invited to create a new choreography for the Opera Ballet, he pursues his exploration of this composer’s work and tackles the grandiose Das Lied von der Erde, translating into dance its emotions and mysteries.
John Neumeier’s new choreography for Gustav Mahler’s The Song of the Earth will be premièred on 24 February at the Palais Garnier in Paris. Further performances take place on 24 – 28 February and 2 – 6 and 9 – 12 March. The music will be performed by the Paris Opera Orchestra (cond. Patrick Lange) and tenors Burkhard Fritz / Nikolai Schukoff and baritones Paul Armin Edelmann / Oddur Jönsson.
Watch an interview with ballet dancer and choreographer Brigitte Lefèvre on The Song of the Earth:
Where is Mahler heading? What is the question, and maybe even more important: is there an answer? The mystery was never solved. It is in my opinion the force that is always present in Mahler’s music.
Marlijn Helder’s orchestral version of Mahler’s Piano Quartet will receive its South Korean première tonight at the Seoul Arts Center. Also on the programme: Alban Berg’s Violin Concerto ‘To The Memory of An Angel’ with Renaud Capuçon on violin and Schostakowitsch’s Symphony No. 15. The concert also marks the first time that Mark Wigglesworth conducts the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra.
Under the title “Treibhaus Wien” [greenhouse Vienna], the world premières of Klaus Simon’s chamber arrangements of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 and Alban Berg’s Passacaglia will be performed together with Alban Berg’s 4 Pieces for clarinet and chamber ensemble at the E-Werk in Freiburg.
Find out more on the website of the Holst-Sinfonietta.
Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 5
world prem. for chamber ensemble | 65'
Alban Berg: Passacaglia
world prem. for chamber ensemble | 5'
Alban Berg: 4 Pieces op. 5
for clarinet and chamber ensemble | 8'
25.11.2014, E-Werk, Freiburg; Julien Laffaire, cl; Holst-Sinfonietta, cond. Klaus Simon
ensemble mini’s Mahler deserves attention
Congratulations to ensemble mini and conductor Joolz Gale for the great review that their recent release of Mahler’s Symphony No. 9 in Klaus Simon’s arrangement for ensemble has received. Find the full [German} review on klassik.com.
Feel free to view the full study score of Simon’s arrangement on Universal Edition.
Carlos Kleiber’s historical rendition of Mahler’s Lied von der Erde, recorded at the Konzerthaus Vienna on 7 June 1967 and performed by Waldemar Kmentt, Christa Ludwig and the Wiener Symphoniker, is Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the week.
Read the review of the recording, which “offers a rare and extraordinary portrait of a celebrated conductor”, on Sinfini Music.
Following the rave reviews for Pierre Audi’s scenic world première of Schönberg’s Gurre-Lieder, we have more great news from Amsterdam: after a successful crowdfunding campaign on voordekunst, Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 9 in the arrangement for chamber ensemble by Klaus Simon was released today by Camerata RCO on Gutman Records. Congratulations!
Conductor Gustavo Gimeno and the ensemble earned high praise from arranger Klaus Simon, who writes in the booklet of the recording that “the result is truly breathtaking. Thank you all so much for this amazing work!”
Find out more on the website of the Camerata RCO.
However, Camerata RCO is not the only ensemble who has recently recorded Simon’s arrangement: earlier this month, ensemble mini and Joolz Gale released their own much anticipated rendition of Mahler’s Ninth on Ars Produktion. The Berliner Zeitung wrote about the ensemble:
“ensemble mini has often enchanted its audience by performances of historical adaptations of Mahler’s music... This is where mini-Mahler, thanks to the superhumanly beautiful and concentrated play of its protagonists, makes the impossible indeed possible: to transfer Gustav Mahler’s symphonic cosmos to the world of chamber music whilst still leaving the tonal reproduction of its universe.”
We’d also like to mention a third recording of the Ninth, which was released by Caleb Young and Kammermahler earlier this year: find out more on Kammermahler, who are also responsible for the USA première performance of Simon’s arrangement, which was held at the Jacobs School of Music in Bloomington, Indiana on May 11th, 2014.
“But there is a concomitant gain in the clarity of the line, and the Symphony No. 9 is an endless line. Galante formed and followed it with exceptional shape and focus.”(George Grella, New York Classical Review, 16.09.2014)
With the New York Times calling it a “wonderfully committed and beautifully executed performance”, Michel Galante’s rendering of Mahler’s Symphony No. 9 last Monday was a clear success. The Argento Chamber Ensemble and the JACK Quartet built an ambitious program around the symphony, which was performed in Klaus Simon’s arrangement for ensemble.
Furthermore, we’d like to draw your attention to two (!) recent recordings of Simon’s arrangement, one by Ensemble Mini (cond. Joolz Gale) and the other by Camerata RCO (cond. Gustavo Gimeno), but more on that soon.
View the full score of the Symphony No. 9 for ensemble.
Tonight the Camerata RCO will perform Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 9 in Klaus Simon’s arrangement for chamber orchestra under conductor Gustavo Gimeno – who has recently stood in for Lorin Maazel and Mariss Jansons – at the Muziekcentrum van de Omroep in Hilversum.
Find out more on the website of the Muziekcentrum van de Omroep.
Gustav Mahler’s original Hamburg version of the Symphony No. 1 was performed for the first time on 9 May in Reinhold Kubik’s critical edition at the Hamburg International Music Festival. Thomas Hengelbrock conducted the NDR Sinfonieorchester.
From the Hamburg International Music Festival’s programme:
“What better way to signal the opening of the first Hamburg International Music Festival than with a real piece of Hamburg´s musical history? On the programme is Gustav Mahler’s First Symphony in its original Hamburg version of 1893, performed for the first time using the new critical edition of the complete symphonies. Mahler was appointed first ‘Kapellmeister’ at Hamburg’s Stadt-Theater in 1891, and although he had already presented the work publicly in Budapest in 1889, he added a new title, ‘Titan’ to his ‘tone poem in symphonic form’ for the first Hamburg performance. This title, inspired by Jean Paul, was accompanied by corresponding programmatic descriptions. Yet when the symphony’s score went into print a few years later, Mahler erased the title as well as the wonderful slow movement called Blumine (Floral Piece).”