e99 Online Shopping Mall

Geometry.Net - the online learning center Help  
Home  - Composers - Mahler Gustav (Books)

  1-20 of 99 | Next 20
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z  

click price to see details     click image to enlarge     click link to go to the store

1. Gustav Mahler, Vol. 4: A New Life
2. Why Mahler?: How One Man and Ten
3. The Mahler Symphonies: An Owner's
4. Mahler (The Master Musicians Series)
5. Gustav Mahler and the New York
6. Gustav Mahler: New Insights Into
7. Gustav Mahler: The Wunderhorn
8. Recollections of Gustav Mahler
9. Gustav Mahler: Songs and Symphonies
10. Gustav Mahler
11. Symphony No. 6 in A Minor
12. Gustav Mahler: The Symphonies
13. Gustav Mahler : Memories and Letters
14. Gustav Mahler: Letters To His
15. Symphony No. 5 (Kalmus Edition)
16. The Cambridge Companion to Mahler
17. Gustav Mahler, Vol. 3: Vienna:
18. Gustav Mahler The Wunderhorn Years
19. Symphony No. 9 In Full Score
20. Gustav Mahler, Vol. 2: Vienna:

1. Gustav Mahler, Vol. 4: A New Life Cut Short, 1907-1911
by Henry-Louis De La Grange
Hardcover: 1072 Pages (2008-04-07)
list price: US$140.00 -- used & new: US$45.02
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0198163878
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
When the earlier volumes of de La Grange's monumental study of Gustav Mahler appeared, they were hailed across America--in The New Yorker, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, and many other publications--as an indispensable portrait of one of the greatest figures in the history of music. Here at last is the final volume of this magisterial work.
The fourth volume illuminates the composer's American period, when he was conductor for the Metropolitan Opera in New York. It contains a treasure trove of new material, in particular many unknown letters from Alma Mahler to her lover, Walter Gropius, and many articles and interviews about the composer and the performances he conducted while in New York. This detailed biography of the composer also includes new and valuable insights into the final year of his life, when he returned to Europe to die.
The crowning point of a decades-long project, during which the author has personally translated each volume from his original French into English, this scrupulously researched and insightfully written biography brings to a triumphant close the definitive account of Mahler's life and work. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

3-0 out of 5 stars Monumental, but seriously flawed
La Grange has dedicated his life to Mahler in a way that strikes me as maybe not quite healthy. The result is the massive, four-part biography of which this is the final, revised instalment. Any Mahler-fan will want to own this, if only for the dizzying wealth of detailed information contained in it. Yet as a biography it is far from faultless. Indeed, this unwieldy book struck me as quite undisciplined and at times made for an infuriating read. La Grange doesn't seem to have made any effort at all to compress the raw materials, to summarize and organize, he just heaps it on as it comes along. Chronology is disrupted by strange leaps forward and backward. I would estimate that about half the book's bulk is filled with endlessly repetitive, full reprints of contemporary reviews of Mahler's performances. Some textual passages occur repeatedly, at other times an anecdote in a footnote recurs in the main text further on, or vice versa.

The famous but brief meeting with Freud sets La Grange off on an interminable psychoanalytical exposé that only adds thick layers of metaphor and really explains nothing about Mahler; the author seems completely unaware that as a psychological theory this is now all but obsolete. In general, as I went through the book, I had the peculiar sensation of regularly losing sight of the figure of Mahler completely amidst all the byways and digressions. You'll find details here ranging from extensive descriptions of musical life in early 20th century New York to a brief history of the railways in Tyrol. The footnotes provide thumbnail biographies of literally every person mentioned in the text.

A bigger problem than this is the fact that la Grange tends to represent Mahler as a flawless saint. After all these years dedicated to his hero, objectivity is no longer an option I suppose. La Grange's disgust of the New York critic Krehbiel is such that he can't even wait to demolish the man's (indeed quite unpleasant) obituary of Mahler until Mahler has actually died; instead, this is done in the chapter dedicated to the months january and february of 1911, when the reader has yet to hear any details concerning Mahler's final illness and death. The possibility that there was some validity in Krehbiel's criticisms of Mahler doesn't cross La Grange's mind once. Yet Krehbiel seems ahead of his time in his critical view of Mahler's retouchings to the scores of the great classical masters (adding an e-flat clarinet to the Eroica, for instance). Also, Krehbiel is certainly not alone in the view that Mahler's own works contain serious weaknesses, an issue not addressed at all by La Grange. Occasionally, a Krehbiel review is singled out for a seriousreprimand from the author even though other reviewers who are quoted wrote far more nasty texts. Reversely, reviewers who praised Mahler are in turn praised by La Grange for their broadmindedness, perception and lucidity. This kind of unstinting bias does not make for reliable biography.

The other devil assailing La Grange's saint is of course Alma. She is represented as a mindless, egotistical creature who systematically falsified history to keep herself in a good light and who wantonly deceived her husband. Yet this leaves open the mystery why Mahler was so deeply in love with her, to an extent that her adultery reduced him to something resembling a whimpering adolescent, who wrote poems to her that make your toes curl. All the quoted psychoanalytical mumbo-jumbo is woefully inadequate to provide us with a deeper understanding of the workings of Mahler's psyche. Nor does La Grange consider the possibility that a full-blooded young woman like Alma may have had some reason to look for physical comfort beyond her husband, who seems to have spent rather a great deal of his time in a mood of unworldly exaltation.

La Grange is also set on correcting mistakes by others biographers, most prominently the notion that Mahler in his final years was a death-obsessed man and the Ninth a work of farewell. He does seem to have a point here, though things aren't nearly as clear-cut as he pretends. The margins of the Ninth's manuscript do repeatedly include the word "goodbye". In writing about a project some years hence Mahler interjects a "Deo volente", hardly something a man in self-confidently healthy middle age would do. And when he corresponds with Gutman about the premiere of the Eighth, in proposing to postpone it by a year to 1912, the composer erroneously (but touchingly) writes 1812 not once, but twice, as if he was unable to write down a date that would turn out to fall after his death.

La Grange's insistent point-making, biased reporting and unquestioning adoration of his subject detract from this work, quite significantly to my mind, - but it remains by any account a monumental achievement.

5-0 out of 5 stars For Mahler fans, it's like dying and going to Heaven
Mahler devotees (and I'm certainly one of them)--people who have come to see Mahler as more than a great composer and conductor, have an almost religious reverence for all things related to Gustav Mahler.For many of us, his music contains a view of mankind, life and the universe that goes beyond what science and art can tell us.

Although technically, he spoke German, Mahlerians know that he "spoke music."He used his music to go beyond what words say, and carry listeners to a higher level of feeling for, and understanding of, life.
This can be undertaken just by listening to his music.Yet many of us believe that appreciation for it can be enhanced by knowing more about Mahler the man, the people around him, and his world.

This is where Henry-Louis de la Grange enters the picture.Imagine yourself as one of those who wants to know more and more about Mahler and his world.You can read any of the various books on Mahler; some by his wife, some by scholars. Often, these books merely raise more questions.Where do you go for the facts and well-thought-out opinions and theories?

From an early age, Henry-Louis was captivated by Mahler's music.Most fortunately for Mahler devotees, he has enjoyed the extremely rare and felicitous conjunction of gifted scholarly diligence and financial independence that gave him the time and opportunity to pursue his deep interest in Mahler.

As you may have read in the descriptions of this volume, it concerns the last four years of Mahler's life, and it corrects the popular and mistaken notion that a neurotic Mahler died a broken-hearted man in despair over the setbacks he had faced.The 1758 pages in this volume thoroughly support La Grange's contention that Mahler's death was "a new life cut short."The book is not only a treasure trove of facts and commentaries from numerous sources that elucidate Mahler's life; it is also a model for academic scholarship.La Grange does not just make statements of opinion; he buttresses them with direct quotes from numerous sources that illustrate his conclusions.For example, he does not just state that a particular concert was a success. He includes reviews from critics and musically-knowledgeable persons who attended the particular concert.He even includes remarks that do not fit his template, and further explains why their authors may have come to such conclusions.This is scholarship in its finest hour.

Imagine for a moment, your most interesting person or event in the history of the world.Imagine that you have read every book you could find on the subject, investigated every possible source--yet you still crave more.Just about your only remaining hope would be to wait for the afterlife, and to talk to God with all your remaining questions.Well, reading Henry-Louis de la Grange's books is almost like talking to God.He has assembled and organized so much information, and has formed such cogently valid conclusions that you have access to virtually all that is known about Gustav Mahler and his world.

This is an indispensable reference work on Mahler, and a boon to all those with a thirst for knowledge.
He even includes, in Appendix 31, three recipes for Mahler's favorite, and very delicious dessert:Marillenknoedel (apricot dumplings).Thank you, Henry-Louis for your life's work.It has been a life well-spent, and we are so grateful to you.

5-0 out of 5 stars An amazing denouement of an amazing series
Having read a total of about two and a half volumes so far of the towering four (one does need to leave time for reading other things), this last volume is a supreme summation of so much of what has gone before. The other reviewers have pretty well summarized their contents, so I'll just add the following: I was surprised--as have been others to whom I've related this--that Mahler requested that his heart be pierced by a sharp object after his death, and that this was dutifully carried out on his body by a local physician the morning after his death. No reason was ever given by Mahler for this instruction, and De La Grange speculates that it was the result of the fear, given wide currency at the time, of being buried while still alive, and so the piercing was to ensure he was truly dead. Perhaps. Perhaps it was that Mahler sought finally to quell the pain in his heart--of his wife's betrayal, indeed of the pain of the world which he felt so acutely, and with which he infused so much of his music. In any event, even this enigmatic, post-mortem, extraordinarily potent act is, like his music, evocative of so much about the human condition. Reading La Grange is a combination of fascination and bemusement: fascination because it is virtually Mahler day-by-day; a total immersion in the minutiae Mahler's daily life both from his own words, the words of others, and extensive excerpts from the many different and ideologically-varied newspapers that covered his nightly concerts. Bemusement, because De La Grange manages to sustain the "just the facts, ma'am" style over so long a multi-thousand page span--no interpretation, no analysis, no conclusions, no overarching theories, patchy historical and artistic context, nothing but the dry facts. The book even ends abruptly, with the end of the great man's life, with a description--extremely moving to be sure--of Mahler's funeral. Notably, however, De La Grange provides extremely interesting and informative appendices which discuss Mahler's works including in later historical context, and containing much of the analysis and interpretation which had been so missed in the recounting of the history. So in the end this can be recommended for Mahler enthusiasts only, but it is a startling achievement, and for enthusiasts, gives real and cherishable insight into the man, the music and his time. Hopefully I'll have finished it all by the time the re-written volume I comes out so that I can start all over!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Giant
All my life I have loved Mahler's music. As a young man I visited his grave in Vienna and left flowers. I have read all of the de la Grange volumes, and the final one is his greatest.Surely there must be some international prize for his great biography.


2. Why Mahler?: How One Man and Ten Symphonies Changed Our World
by Norman Lebrecht
Hardcover: 336 Pages (2010-10-12)
list price: US$27.95 -- used & new: US$16.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375423818
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

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.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

2-0 out of 5 stars Beware---Paul above is not far off the mark though Norman is always worth reading.
I adore Mahler Remembered Norman Lebrecht's book on Mahler from 20 years ago. I have also loved a lot of his writing, though his writing about being offended by Messiaen's music because of its devout Catholic nature, he being a descendent of Jews killed in the Holocaust gives you a sense of how opinionated and intense he can be. I understand on the one hand obviously but Messiaen also was imprisoned in the war. I wonder----How does he feel about the Mass In B Minor?? or, perhaps.....well, nothing good there lies.Anyway.....this book is indeed a bundle of little pick up sticks at times. A lot of emotion and visceral utterances about Norman's beloved Mahler. His thoughts on Le Grange's books and his defense of Alma's words turns back Mahler scholarship about 50 years. It's all opinion after a while and his opinions about the recordings are almost preposterous. He dismisses Bernstein's recordings with the exception of one, a highly overrated first Resurrection from the early 60's and his picks are often mercurial and peculiar at best. At least he recognizes the brilliance of the Lucerne Abbado series but Tennstedt, while wonderful, was not the be all and end all that Norman makes him out to be. A curio sadly. In his book "Who Killed Classical Music" he also loses the forest for the trees and spends so much time starting fires that by the time you get through the book your fingers are burned, there is no book left and you wonder what his thesis was to begin with. Rob

5-0 out of 5 stars Why Mahler?
Why Mahler?
Reviewed by Paul Fishbein

What a wonderful work!For those of us who have loved the music of Gustav Mahler and who have gotten to "know" him through the magnificent four volume biography by Henry Louis de La Grange, this relatively brief book is a delight.
Not quite a biography, not merely a history of fin-de-siecle Vienna, this is a personal journey which the author allows us to share, a voyage of discovery and insight. Through his eyes, we see the world which shaped Mahler's life and creative work. We experience the anti-Semitism, the pettiness, and the culture of sloppiness that he faced and overcame. We learn why the author is indeed obsessed by this composer.
Mahler's music has always been different, unique in so many ways. No other composer can quite be compared to him. His music is at once cultured, complex, vulgar, and ironic. He demands enormous symphonic forces in size, length and energy. His demands on his listeners are equally difficult.
No other composer of classical music exposes his personal life and displays his emotions in each work as Mahler does. His music is not meant merely for pleasure, but rather to reveal the composer's fears, loves, dreams, and hopes. In his symphonies, we learn about his youth, his family, his culture, and his fate.
Norman Lebrecht's book provides us a vivid picture of Mahler's world, but also lets us see the connection the author has with that time and place. Because Vienna of a hundred years ago represents so much that is corrupt and decadent as well as so much that is culturally splendid, Mahler's struggle there has a great deal to teach us. That the Vienna of that period actually foretold the Nazi era is clear indeed. The city of Herzl, Schnitzler, Freud, and Mahler remains the crucible of racial hatred that Hitler fed upon only a few years later.
Lebrecht's book opens a unique window on that time and through Mahler's story, tells us much about the world we inhabit today. There are, indeed, a few defects in his book, but they are miniscule compared to the vast pleasure his story provides. I would, for example, have preferred his summary and critique of the recorded works to be in an appendix, rather than interrupt the continuity of the book itself. He tells us that Einstein's theory of relativity reveals time as a fifth dimension, when it is really the fourth.
But he shows us how Mahler's music is different, what it can do to people, and how it can change one's life. For that and his clear love of the music and the man, this book is worth reading. For those of us who have been familiar with Mahler, this book is a refreshing look with insight and love. For those who might be new to Mahler, not knowing his music or the period in which he struggled, this is a nice place to start the journey of discovery.

4-0 out of 5 stars Transcendent Mahler
Norman Lebrecht's book will arouse many different emotions, just as Mahler's music does.In that sense, Mr Lebrecht re-creates the melange of responses, philosophical, rational, and emotional, that Mahler did in his own time when as Vienna's and New York's 'own' he attracted massive public and media attention.Witness, for example, the extraordinary range of responses in our own time to Leonard Bernstein and his various activities.Mr Lebrecht has written a book that is basically a story about Mahler as he sees him: it is not an academic treatise, it is not a musical critique, but it is a very successful attempt at engaging the reader in the complexities, and beauty, of Mahler's music and to examine his or her own emotional and intellectual responses to it.Like many, I found some of Mr Lebrecht's assertions a little, shall we say, subjective; I can't say that I necessarily agreed with all his verdicts about what constitutes a great Mahler performance or recording.But that is really not the point: the point is that this book made me re-visit and fall in love wtih Mahler's music all over again.And I was delighted to make the voyage and thank Mr Lebrecht for accompanying me.

1-0 out of 5 stars Disgraceful,shameful, repellent !
First,a confession. When I was fifteen or sixteen,I purchased my first record of Mahler. This was his Fifth Symphony.I admit that after some minutes I gave it up. Perhaps my teen years were not suitable for this kind of music or vice-versa.
After many years,in my forties,I tried my luck again. This time I listened to the First and Fifth Symphonies and felt there was something unique with Mahler's music. To such an extent that after some weeks,Mahler has become an obssesion with me and had from then on ranked as the second most favourite composer,the first one still being Beethoven.
I have alsobought and readalmost all the major works published on Mahler both in English and German.
Now we come the Norman Lebrech's new book,"WHY MAHLER"?
First,this book is a mishmash of journalistic writing, personal reflections,academic quotations,narcissism and other different styles of pulp-fiction styles-all these written in the present tense.
To be honest,I know of no composer or any other artist of Mahler's magnitute who had managed to change the world. The world,volens nolens, is not ruled or governed by artists,thus the pompous sub-title is definitely redundant.
Now,pay attention to the following ideas written in this farcical book;"the Third movement of the First Symphony is the way the world's protestsand indifference against infant mortality
rates of 56% !"
The opening of the Third is an implied protest against racial discrimination. Next:the Sixth is Mahler's foretelling of WW1 and WW2 plus the Holocaust. Do you want to know why? Because the German conductor Klaus Tennstedt said so once.
Next,there is a connection between Mahler's hemorrhoids to Lebrecht's gall bladder operation.
But all this is nothing compared to the fact that the author has visited and has seen Mahler's bathtub in Vienna. Therefore: "I could not resist to take a dip"(p.169).
Another item concerns Vienna's anti-Semitism which was rampant during those times when the composer was living there. Here comes another smash sentence: "The appalling prospect of genocide germinates around the Ring of Mahler's Vienna"(p.41). There was never talk about any Holocaust at that time,Mr Lebrecht.
Now let us have a look at page 9,where Lebrecht writes:"...the Third addressed ecological damage and the Fourth proclaimed racial equality."
Really? On he same page,just four lines under,Lebrecht writes :"Mahler never made his meaning explicit. What is best in music is not to be found in the notes and it was up to the musicians and listeners to interpret the meaning behind them".
In other words: the axiomatic approach of Lebrecht in respect to Mahler's symphonies is not only unfounded,full of contradictions made by the author himself, but it is also preposterous.
Still to come is Mahler's wedding which took place at Karlskirche in Vienna,where Mahler,according to Lebrecht has seen the tetragrammaton on the altar and because of this "he sinks to his knees,misses his footing and falls".
This kind of accident has never happened in reality.It is a figment of a fertile imagination.
After leaving Vienna, Mahler "docks at Cherbourg,anticipating pleasure. He stomps up and down the corridor". Based on what written documentation,Mr.Lebrecht?
Mahler is also a kind of miracle medicine for those suffering from testicular cancer. Wow,guess what? His music managed to cure one flautist by the name of Gareth Davies. How come this works?How come the medical community has been spending trillions of dollars on research to find a cure for this terrible disease but is not acquainted with Mr. Lebrecht's cure? Why Mahler? "Just ask the players".(pp.276-279)
Next,Lebrecht declares that other reseachers do not have the faintest idea about Mahler, even themost eminent of them, Baron Henry-Louis de La Grange's,whose books "after a while,the repetition of mundane events becomes tedious and the analysis of character and music is often superficial"(.p.289)
Tagore who is mentioned in the book was never a philosopher,but a poet.
Alma Mahler is another star who fills up many pages of Lebrecht's book.It will take only an ignorant man or woman to take Alma's words seriously, since an endless number of researchers have dismissed her writings long ago as the most non-reliable ones.
One could go on and on but if you think that you will enjoy this book by reading all these jokes and the other rubbish,you are mistaken. You had better save your money and spend it on another well-researched book on Mahler. There are so many and wonderful biographies of this great composer.
I am sure that Mahler did not deserve this kind of farce! ... Read more

3. The Mahler Symphonies: An Owner's Manual (includes 1 CD)
by David Hurwitz
Paperback: 224 Pages (2004-11-01)
list price: US$22.99 -- used & new: US$13.89
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1574670999
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Since Gustav Mahler was rediscovered in the early 1960s, his symphonies have become arguably the most popular works in the modern orchestral repertoire. Orchestras worldwide ask to be judged by their expertise in playing these lengthy and colorful scores, while few composers since the mid-20th century have escaped Mahler’s influence.

Mahler was a commanding figure in his own time and renowned as the greatest living conductor.

His works summarize the great German symphonic tradition. Mahler’s Symphonies: An Owner’s Manual is the first discussion of the ten completed symphonies (No. 1–9 plus The Song of the Earth) to offer music lovers and record collectors a comprehensive overview of the music itself, what it sounds like, how it is organized, its form, content, and meaning, as it strikes today’s listeners.

The book caters to the novice as David Hurwitz describes what the listener will hear, section by section, using simple cues such as important instrumental solos, recognizable tunes, climaxes, and other easily audible musical facts. He explains how each work is arranged, how the various parts relate to each other, and how one work leads to the next. The emphasis throughout is on the experience of listening, and how each symphony embodies Mahler’s dictum that the symphony "must embrace the world. It must contain everything."

In considering each of these epic "sound worlds" in turn, Mahler’s Symphonies: An Owner’s Manual describes the emotional extravagance that lies at the root of Mahler’s popularity, the consistency of his symphonic thinking, the relationship of each work to its companions, and his dazzling and revolutionary use of orchestral instruments to create an expressive musical language that is varied in content and immediate in impact.Amazon.com Review
Anyone fascinated but daunted by Mahler's monumental, complex orchestral works will find this book a welcome guide. Focusing on the nine completed symphonies and The Song of the Earth, David Hurwitz addresses his readers directly in an informal, conversational tone. Aided by a CD of four selected movements, he tells them what to listen for, what to pay special attention to, and, pointing out some recurring characteristics, what to remember for future reference. He explains Mahler's concept of form and structure, from the smallest motives to the over-life-size finished edifice. He discusses Mahler's manifold use of his songs, his love for quoting from himself and for recalling and anticipating thematic material--always in a new guise--and his penchant for aborted climaxes and deceptive endings: part of his reluctance (or inability) to conclude a composition. Despite his originality, Mahler stood on the shoulders of other giants, notably Wagner and Verdi, whose works he conducted at the Vienna Opera. Hurwitz devotes much attention--and an entire appendix--to Mahler's unsurpassed mastery of orchestration, his skill in exploiting every instrument's resources, even using them for thematic purposes.

Hurwitz admits that describing music in words has limitations; he falls back instead on describing Mahler's complex mixture of elements from the most sublime to the raw (for example, we find the music characterized as pretty," "cute," "sleazy," "sexy," "vulgar," "flatulent," or "squealing" like a barmaid "after being pinched on the behind" and the like). On the other hand, he rejects the conventional assumption that there is a link between a composer's work and life experiences, isolating the music from the personality. This might be considered a drawback insofar as it neglects a crucial dimension (consider, for example, our knowledge that Mahler tried to outwit fate by interpolating The Song of the Earth between his Eighth and Ninth Symphonies and how this might enhance our understanding of those two dark, valedictory final works). Yet even such cavils cannot diminish the originality and thoughtfulness behind this illuminating book. --Edith Eisler ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

4-0 out of 5 stars Mahler's symphonies- an owner's manual
Sort of a play by play guide for each of Mahler's symphonies.Useful to have while listening if you want to get more out of your listening experience.Some background information is also provided, which is helpful.

4-0 out of 5 stars Better book than I thought at first
I was initially rather disappointed in this book given the mostly great reviews. I even gave it three stars rather than 4. In catering to a more general audience, I thought it ended up being too vague and impressionistic for my taste. Lacking any references to specific measures or rehearsals in the score, I found it often hard to follow what exactly he was referring to. With the modern Internet, it is easy to download free orchestral scores, and I saw no reason not to make some attempt to refer to the score in examining the music. I guess I was looking for something closer to Grove's "Beethoven and his 9 Symphonies". I ended up buying a used copy of the book "Gustav Mahler: The Symphonies" by Floros which seems to be much more specific. (A current paperback edition of Floros' book is available; though not at Amazon for some reason. Amazon only has an entry for the out of printeditions.)

The above is mostly what I originally wrote. On second thought, however, I think this book is a good complement to a more in depth work such as that of Floros mentioned above. I really would not want to discourage anyone from buying this book. And for anyone who is not really versed in reading music, this book would be a great guide.

4-0 out of 5 stars helpful book
I hugely enjoy David Hurwitz' cd reviews on Classics Today, which are witty, incisive and knowledgeable, with a refreshing absence of undue reverence for the big names in the music industry (record labels and conductors alike) and a total lack of the conspicuous chauvinism that German reviewers display. On the strength of those reviews I have bought many a cd and the choices I made that way have seldom been disappointing.
But on this book: I partly agree with reviewer A. Johnston when he remarks that "Mahler's expressive and easthetic motivations" are not dealt with. What would also have been helpful are extracts from the symphonies' scores to illustrate certain passages (as in Truscott's book on Franz Schmidt's symphonies), so that you can not only hear (on the accompanying cd) but also see the complexity of Mahler's music.
Since in Mahler's music so many things go on, the book is cetainly valuable to the listener since it helps him / her(?) to understand what is happening and how this connects to what went on before and what to expect next. I still find myslef consulting the book every time I listen to a Mahler symphony and I find that it adds to my listening pleasure, so much of what Hurwitz set out to do is achieved.

5-0 out of 5 stars Specialized Mahler Book
David Hurwitz's THE MAHLER SYMPHONIES is aptly subtitled "An Owner's Manual."The book is intended for people who already know they like Mahler's music, and want to know more about it.

Have you ever met a birder--one of those unusual people so devoted to the study of birds that they can look up into the trees and spot several different birds, where you and I would be lucky to see even one?Well, that's what Hurwitz is for Mahler devotees.He looks beyond a simple introduction to each symphony, and tells us what is going on--from the instruments involved, to the ideas or feelings being painted in sound.

At first I thought it might be "kinda hokey" that the book comes with a CD inside the back cover.But bless his soul, Hurwitz was right to do it this way.Using the CD tracks, he points to things like "a sinister little tremolo (18:36)" that might have been overlooked without the CD accompaniment to illustrate the written word.

What really delighted me were the tables at the end of the book's discussion of Mahler's symphonies.In these tables, Hurwitz categorizes the symphonies according to their content of:

"Marches and Dances,"
"Screams, Crashes, and Thuds,"
"Appearances of the 'Aspiration' or 'Redemption' Theme
"Mahlerian Humor"
"Large-scale Structure"

If you are an admirer of Mahler's music, these tables will indicate to you that David Hurwitz "gets it"--he understands that Mahler's music is much more than sounds, or a simple concert performance by an orchestra.Mahler left behind the form-fitting rules of "Classical Music" because he had something bigger to say about life.David Hurwitz will help you appreciate Mahler even more than you already do!

4-0 out of 5 stars An intro to Mahler
Good book, only gripe is that the author goes into too much detail describing the music itself (for example telling what instruments are doing what) I think what I am looking for is more of an analysis of the symphonies.Hope this helps ... Read more

4. Mahler (The Master Musicians Series)
by Michael Kennedy
Paperback: 256 Pages (2001-05-17)
list price: US$30.00 -- used & new: US$29.11
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0198164807
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Celebrating its 100th anniversary, this extraordinary series continues to amaze and captivate its readers with detailed insight into the lives and work of music's geniuses. Unlike other composer biographies that focus narrowly on the music, this series explores the personal history of each composer and the social context surrounding the music. In a precise, engaging, and authoritative manner, each volume combines a vivid portrait of the master musicians' inspirations, influences, life experiences, even their weaknesses, with an accessible discussion of their work--all in roughly 300 pages. Further, each volume offers superb reference material, including a detailed life-and-times chronology, a complete list of works, a glossary highlighting the important people in the composer's life, and a select bibliography. Under the supervision of music expert and series general editor Stanley Sadie , Master Musicians will certainly proceed to delight music scholars, serious musicians, and all music lovers for another hundred years.
In this revised edition, Michael Kennedy has drawn on new documentary evidence which has enabled him to give a much fuller account of Mahler's childhood and youth, and of his years as an opera conductor in Cassel, Prague, Leipzig, Budapest, Hamburg, and Vienna. All Mahler's works are discussed, and the latest research on the Eighth Symphony and Das Lied von der Erde has been incorporated. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars excellent introduction
Two books in one, because it divides sharply into two parts. The first half, running about 110 pages, is a very readable biography. The second half, running about 75 pages, provides analysis of what you'll hear in each of Mahler's compositions. For example, one chapter is devoted to "The Song of the Earth" and it runs 11 pages. This makes the book a very useful reference for getting to know each of Mahler's works.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Good Read...
In the hackneyed phrase, this seems a "fair and balanced" presentation and critique of Mahler's life and works.It's not exhaustively long, which makes it a pleasant read.

By the way, Kennedy rates Das Lied von der Erde as Mahler's greatest overall workMahler: Das Lied von der Erde / Bernstein, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra; he also highly esteems the Kindertotenlieder, and rates the Sixth as Mahler's greatest symphonyMahler: Symphony No6; Rückert Lieder: I think he's pretty close to being right on all scores.
. ... Read more

5. Gustav Mahler and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra Tour America
by Mary H. Wagner
Paperback: 272 Pages (2006-09-08)
list price: US$55.00 -- used & new: US$49.08
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0810857200
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
This book documents composer/conductor Gustav Mahler's tours with the New York Philharmonic during the 1909 and 1910 seasons. It details the conditions surrounding touring, the preparations for the tours, the outcome of each concert, and the perceptions of audiences beyond New York City, as well as a history of touring and orchestral development at the turn of the twentieth century. ... Read more

6. Gustav Mahler: New Insights Into His Life, Times and Work (Guildhall Research Studies)
by Alfred Mathis-Rosenzweig
Paperback: 256 Pages (2007-04-07)
list price: US$49.95 -- used & new: US$45.91
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0754653536
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

7. Gustav Mahler: The Wunderhorn Years : Chronicles and Commentaries (Vol 2)
by Donald Mitchell
Paperback: 528 Pages (2005-06-09)
list price: US$49.95 -- used & new: US$28.68
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1843830035
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Donald Mitchell's second book on the life and work of Gustav Mahler focuses principally on Mahler's first settings of Wunderhorn texts, volumes I and II of the Lieder und Gesaenge, his first song-cycle, the Lieder eines fahrendedn Gesellen, the later, orchestral settings of Wunderhorn poems. The central section ofthe book explores the extraordinary and often eccentric chronology of the First, Second and Third Symphonies' composition, an often minute exploration which reveals the interpenetration of song and symphony in this period of Mahler's art, emphasizes the significance for these worksof imagery drawn from the Wunderhorn anthology, and callsattention to the ambiguous position ocupied by much of Mahler's music at this time, suspended as it was between the rival claims - and forms - of syphony and symphonic poem. The final section of the book not only looks at the Fourth Symphony as the final, perhaps most perfect, flowering of Mahler's Wunderhorn symphonies, but also investigates such fascinating topics as the relationship between Mahler and Berlioz, Mahler's addiction to the E flat clarinet, and the influence of Bach on Mahler's later masterpieces. ... Read more

8. Recollections of Gustav Mahler
by Natalie Bauer-Lechner, Dika Newlin
Hardcover: 232 Pages (1980-08-31)
list price: US$37.95
Isbn: 0521235723
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Thank Heavens for Natalie!
Thank Heavens for Natalie Bauer-Lechner!

Natalie was composer Gustav Mahler's devoted friend, who kept a daily record of her conversations with this musical genius.Whether it was on the long walks that Mahler enjoyed, rowing across a lake, cycling, or during a night out with friends, Natalie worshipfully kept a record of Mahler's ideas about art, music, philosophy, and life and death.

It is extremely rare to have such a devoted friend so close and so scrupulous in capturing the thoughts of one who captures the imagination of a music-loving public.

For scholars, there are nearly 50 pages of notes and appendices at the end of the book, however the diary-like daily record of Mahler's thoughts about Beethoven, Nature, music, his childhood--just everything that trusted friends would talk about--that is the powerful strength of this book.

Whether you're a Mahler fan, a researcher on music, art, or genius, or simply someone who enjoys illuminating insights into how a genius thinks and works, a book like this, by a devoted friend like Natalie, comes along only too rarely.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Valuable Personal View of Mahler
Compiled from a private journal (by Natalie, his close and devoted friend) these recollections are a record of Mahler's personal, professional and creative life during the last decade of the nineteenth century.The jacket illustration is of Mahler's villa in southern Austria.Of course it is well-known that he composed in a summer-house high in the woods behind the villa itself.It is a brilliant and intimate view of the composer and his work habits."5 July 1896We do not have lunch these days until one o'clock; for Mahler works intensively from eight till twelve, after which he has to wander around for a hour of so in order to relax and find his way back to the everyday world and to people"Mahler was working on his Third Symphony.A very interesting and valuable study of this great composer.Fascinating. ... Read more

9. Gustav Mahler: Songs and Symphonies of Life and Death. Interpretations and Annotations (Music) (Vol 3)
by Donald Mitchell
Paperback: 664 Pages (2008-04-17)
list price: US$35.00 -- used & new: US$30.48
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0851159087
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
A monument in Mahler studies, this volume concentrates on the composer's vocal music and, in particular, on some of his most famous, most original and best loved compositions: the late Rueckert orchestral songs and Kindertotenlieder; Das Lied von der Erde, one of the composer's supreme masterpieces, and the vast Eighth Symphony. Much new ground is broken but the author bases his conclusions on a meticulous examination of the principal manuscript sources, especially those for Das Lied. He offers an unprecedented exploration of the original Chinese texts for that work and indeed of the whole Oriental dimension of Mahler's last and greatest song-cycle. Time and time again, the composer's sketches back up the author's reading of these massive scores and there will be few among this book's readers who will not find a familiar passage or movement sharply illuminated by fresh insights and information. The scope of the book, despite its concentration, is immensely wide; and so is the readership it addresses: Mahler scholars, performers, and general readers. ... Read more

10. Gustav Mahler
by Kurt Blaukopf
 Paperback: 279 Pages (1985-05)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$5.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 087910029X
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

11. Symphony No. 6 in A Minor
by Gustav Mahler
Paperback: 256 Pages (2003-03-27)
list price: US$9.95 -- used & new: US$6.39
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0486428559
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
The appearance of this work brings Dover's miniature-score library of the nine Mahler symphonies to near completion; only Symphony No. 7 remains to be published. Dating from the composer's prolific period of 1903-4 and following Mahler's marriage to Alma Schindler by just a year, the draft of this remarkable work--subtitled "Tragic"--is represented by 28 current recordings. The symphony incorporates "portraits" of Alma in the first movement and of children playing in a diabolical Scherzo--a musical prediction, some say, of the tragedy that was to strike the Mahler family within three years.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Very comprehensive
This score is one of my favorite Mahler symphonies.Overall it is incredible to see his layering of orchestration.You will be amazed at how much underscoring there is that sometimes it's hard to notice.Dover's publication is extremely accurate for the most part.There are a few discrepancies between the score and most performances, but I feel that is probably because Mahler constantly revised the orchestration of his symphonies.Overall, highly recommended if you want to see the symphonic master at work at a very affordable price. ... Read more

12. Gustav Mahler: The Symphonies
by Constantin Floros
Hardcover: 366 Pages (2003-04-01)
list price: US$34.95
Isbn: 0931340624
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Gustav Mahler thought of his symphonic writing as autobiographical, an expression of his philosophy of life. Important references to musical meaning in Mahler's symphonies can be found in sketches, drafts, autograph scores, and printers' proofs; they demonstrate that his symphonies cannot be classified as absolute music but rather as music with personal, biographical, literary, and philosophical meanings.

In Gustav Mahler: The Symphonies Constantin Floros undertakes a precise and detailed exploration of each of Mahler's ten symphonies and Das Lied von der Erde, bringing to light various aspects of the works. Professor Floros examines their history and autobiographical origins and discusses the events that profoundly influenced the composer's writing. For example, Mahler's meeting with Alma Schindler in November 1901 and the tragic events of 1907—the death of the composer's older daughter and the diagnosis of his heart trouble—profoundly changed Mahler's attitude toward life and subsequently changed his music.

Floros analyses Mahler's compositional techniques in each symphony and relates these to stylistic and semantic aspects to decode Mahler's symbolic musical language. The author is thus able to identify certain basic qualities of these works: tragic irony, the sense of the grotesque, and the affirmation of Mahler's belief both in life after death and in the power of love to transcend death. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

3-0 out of 5 stars Excellent study, but low on Mahler's psychology
I wish I could be as enthusiastic about this work as the other reviewers, and I might be being picky, but as Mahler has been a constant study and companion to me, I found myself irritated by the more personal observations made by the author.
The musical analyses are beyond reproach - so I won't go there. However,as one cannot separate the soul of Mahler from his music, I wondered why Floros backs them up with some rather inane quotes from Alma's memoirs and historical inaccuracies.

Let me simply deal with the incomplete Tenth Symphony - it's a good example. And I quote from Alma's recollections:"...he was in deepest turmoil...he recognized that he had led the life of a psycopath" - her reason for Mahler's exclamations to her on the score.
As much as I admire Alma Maher, I must,as a psychoanalyst, question her damning use of the word "psychopath", something she knew absolutely nothing about at a time when Freud was tearing his hair out in Vienna because not one of the so-called elite dared to consider a look at their troubled psyches. Mahler was about as far away from a psychopath as Franz Schubert.
The author also attributes his suffering in 1910 as a direct result of the appearance of Walter Gropius on the scene, a "long-time admirer" of Alma. Excuse me, has anyone forgotten that she and Gropius were ardent lovers? And earlier on in the book, Floros states, after quoting lines Mahler wrote about his own fears, that he knew he was on the brink of insanity.

What irks me in this type of amateur psychology is the treatment of a genius as an object to be poked at. This great, sensitive and passionate composer was a person that intellectuals such as this author can never understand...which is why "intellectuals" (and here I use the term in its deeper sense), like Claudio Abbado, don't need to talk about him, except to say the same words he uses for his favorite poet, the "insane" Holderlin:
"They couldn't understand him". Abbado almost becomes Mahler when he conducts his work...his capacity to understand the soul of the man goes way beyond any analysis and superficial psychology.

Deryck Cooke, no matter how fussy he may sound, let his love and compassion for Mahler show through everything he wrote about him. Same with Henry-Louis
de la Grange. For that reason, I really can only recommend this particular book for technical studies of the symphonies.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Trustworthy Private Tutor
By the time I opened this book I had already read more than a dozen biographies of composer Gustav Mahler.What could this one add?

Well, it surprised me.It lives up to its name:GUSTAV MAHLER: THE SYMPHONIES.What it does is give you a thorough explanation of each Mahler symphony.It tells you things like when it was written, why it was written, how it was written, and suggestions as to "what the music means," which is especially relevant to Mahler's music.

Thus, if I could have only a single book on Mahler, this would be the one I would keep, because it will be my learned, private guide or tutor, to better help me understand--and love even more--each Mahler symphony

2-0 out of 5 stars Mahler Symphonies aren't programmic and story-like
I was very, very disappointed in this book. But Ishould have expected such nonsense about M's symphonies--it's unfortunately ubiquitous. c.f. sees a story or progam in every symphony, every movement etc. ad nauseam. He writes out a lot of musical notes and then fails to adequately anaylze them. I am not sure why so many people want to find stories and themes and non-musical meanings in Mahler's work. Mahler may have said many things, but he is the artist and his art is music, not literature. Music by its nature is not amenable to verbal analysis apposite to poetry and drama; re6th, first movement: march,march--heavy heavy to last movement hammer blows--oh my! oh my! Fate has overcome the protagonist. The major minor seal--nice code as a sub for thinking.-- the sheer silliness of critics to call this tragic when the music is promethean in nature and the last big sound is not fate stamping out the human, instead it is the sound of the individual determined to march on and the power of the last sound indicates the protagonist if there is one in this piece. I likeMahler a lot. There can be no argument, at least in my feeble mind, that he wrote two superaltive symphones: 6th and 7th. Therest have virtues but simply don't succeed--you can like the music but it doesn't cohere. The ninth is interesting, but only that. All the others are grossly inferior to 6 and 7. I found c.f's book to be amateurish: his analysis was weak because he wanted to find a story behind the notes. Music is very difficult to explain, Mahler's especially.But so many reviewers of Mahler seem happy to find an underlying story that then becomes the essence of the piece for them (they box and compartmentalize the music)The symphonies are a creation. They must be judged as musical creations, not as stories etc. How fatuous is all the nonsense written about Mahler because his music does lay itself open to critics who would mistakenly fill it up with their own ideas etc, the music notwithstanding. What's that cliche (a true axiom): Let the Music Speak for Itself. Judge the creation, not the creator or what he wants to say about his music (the creator is so susceptible to illusion and misreading of his creation).

c.f's book is not better than good liner notes; it's too bad he didn't recommend certain recordings--this would have made his fantasy-speculative analysis of the symphonies more bearable.

5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Indispensable for the Mahlerite.
The symphonies of Gustav Mahler can be listened to on more than one level. As complex and forward-looking as they are, they nonetheless can connect atan elemental, "visceral" level for many listeners.

However, for a fullerappreciation of both the details and the profundity which are in theseworks, as well as for insight into Mahler's creative processes, someoutside help is required, and this help is usually not forthcoming from theliner or booklet notes that accompany recordings, or from the program notesthat accompany performances. This is precisely where this excellent book byConstantin Floros fits in.

First, a few words on what this book is not,and does not purport to be. It is not a comparative discography ofavailable performances; in fact, it neither lists nor recommendsrecordings. Second, it is not a critical biography of Mahler; theinterested reader is referred to the outstanding (but much more expensive)volumes by Henry-Louis de la Grange, available elsewhere at Amazon.com.Third, it is not a psychological study of Mahler, relating, as such a studymight, such connections between the man and the music; an excellent smallvolume by Theodor Adorno, "Mahler: A Musical Physiognomy" covers thatterritory very well, and is also available elsewhere at Amazon.com. Fourth,and finally, it is not a set of musical scores of the symphonies; those aswell, published by Dover in inexpensive paperback editions, can be found atAmazon.com

So, just what is this Floros book? It is the perfect companionfor the serious Mahlerite in understanding the genesis and the thematic,harmonic and interpretational details of each of Mahler's ten symphonies,and the interrelationships and comparisons among them. It has just enoughof the material covered in the references noted above, along with detailedanalyses of the symphonies, for each of them to be better understood andplaced in historical and musical context by the listener. Its greatestinsight into these symphonies comes largely from Floros' remarkablescholarship in tracking down all of the score notes that Mahler provided inhis sketches, short scores and long scores, his correspondences with hiswife, friends and interpreters, and their comments and observations aswell. By piecing all of this research together, relying particularlyheavily on Mahler's own notes, Floros has come up with a near-definitivelook into Mahler's creative and interpretational processes (a term for sucha look based on scholarship that Floros describes as "hermeneutics").

Thebook's publication date (1985 in the original German) means that it is thebeneficiary of a series of events in the 1960's that opened the door togreatly improved accuracy in the study of this complex man and his equallycomplex music. First was the passage into the public domain of much ofMahler's own private writings, on the 100th anniversary of his birth.Second was the agreement on the part of his widow, Alma Mahler-Werfel, torelease other materials, particularly related to his unfinished 10thSymphony, for public scrutiny. Third was the availability of this materialto the Englishman Deryck Cooke, and others, who provided performingversions of this final 10th Symphony so that the public at large couldbetter judge the direction in which Mahler had been heading when his workwas cut short by premature death. Floros pays great respect to, andprovides excellent insight into, the work of Cooke in his (Floros') plan todescribe the full symphonic output of Mahler.

This book is very liberallyannotated, with briefly-scored examples as reference marks forunderstanding the interrelationships among the various musical themes, aswell as end notes for each symphony and a detailed bibliography for furtherreading. While it helps to be able to read these brief bars of music, eventhose who cannot will benefit immensely from Floros' scholarship and fine,but nonetheless dense, writing in providing extramusical background andvalues for a better understanding of these remarkable symphonies whichmoves so many of us.

Without question, the single most valuable referencesource for a fuller understanding of the Mahler symphonies. And a compactand inexpensive companion for the Mahlerite.

Bob Zeidler

5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding
If you want to know how a Mahler symphony is put together and why it works, this is the only book that does it.Reading it with a score at hand is useful, but not necessary.Technical but worth it. ... Read more

13. Gustav Mahler : Memories and Letters
by Alma Mahler
Paperback: 409 Pages (1968-06)
list price: US$8.95
Isbn: 0295953780
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

14. Gustav Mahler: Letters To His Wife
by Gustav Mahler, Henry-Louis De LA Grange, Gunther Weiss
Hardcover: 431 Pages (2004-10-14)
list price: US$45.95 -- used & new: US$34.92
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0801443407
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Gustav Mahler and Alma Maria Schindler were married in . . . 1902. The bride was twenty-one and a half years old, her groom a few months short of forty-two. Apart from their substantial age difference, it seems to have been the very disparity of their intellectual and social backgrounds that drew them together. Mahler was attracted to Alma by her beauty, her alert mind and emotional intensity. Though aware that he possessed by far the broader outlook, he trusted in Alma’s ability and willingness to learn from him."—from the Introduction

"Once the stiffness of unfamiliarity has been softened by a few months of marriage, Mahler’s style of correspondence with Alma is generally simple, direct, and astonishingly down-to-earth. In a manner akin to that of his musical style, he spikes his language with witticisms and double-entendres, colloquialisms and quotations from librettos and classical works of literature."—from the Preface

This profusely illustrated collection of Gustav Mahler’s letters to his wife Alma is more comprehensive than any previous edition; it contains 350 letters, 188 of them until now unpublished. Since 1995, when the German edition of this book was first published, two events have served to expand its horizons: the publication in 1997 of the complete text of Alma’s early diaries, dating from January 1898 to March 1902, and the publication in 2003 of a catalogue of all Mahler letters acquired from the Moldenhauer Archives. With the aid of this new material, the editors were also able to revise the dates assigned to many of the letters. Commentaries and annotations throughout the book have been corrected and expanded annotations included. The editors’ introduction provides a biographical context for the correspondence that follows. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Alma was no angel--except in Mahler's mind
This collection of 350 letters and telegrams from composer Gustav Mahler to his wife, Alma, illustrates the good and bad points of a fortunate and unfortunate marriage.

It is a very fortunate marriage for lovers of Mahler's unique and beautiful music.The music might never have been written had he not married his idealized image of a one true love.Alma was not his inspiration--it was his idealized view of her that, despite her behavior, kept him going.She did not understand, or even enjoy his music, but she did enjoy the celebrity position of being married to the greatest conductor in a world that worshipped music.Fortunately, Mahler was never able to bring himself to see her shortcomings.He had made up his mind that superficial beauty (at least in Alma's case) equaled virtue, and he projected virtue onto everything that Alma did.

It was an unfortunate marriage in that, at the age of 22, marrying a man nearly twice her age, Alma had not had a chance to develop character and direction for her own life.She very much enjoyed being in the spotlight of fame, yet she had never earned any of it for herself.After Mahler's death, Alma continued this pattern of getting into the limelight by "hooking-up" with famous people.She married, or had affairs with architect Walter Gropius, artist Oskar Kokoschka, novelist Franz Werfel, composer Alexander Zemlinsky, and various others.

While this behavior kept her in the top circles of Viennese society, it simultaneously prevented her from ever doing anything notable on her own.It was an unfortunate marriage for Alma.It was what she wanted, but with it, she ceased all personal growth. It was "A Fortunate and Unfortunate Marriage."

5-0 out of 5 stars Mahler's Muse
In "Letters to his Wife," the reader is privy to the intensely private and somewhat ordinary reflections of the extraordinary composer/conductor, Gustav Mahler.

But that very ordinariness is what makes this book so fascinating: that alongside genius lies its twin of conventionality expressed in those unguarded moments between intimates. The collection of letters span a decade: From Mahler's courtship of Alma Mahler in 1900 until his tragically early death at age 50 in 1910.

You get the sense that Mahler felt he had nothing to prove to his wife as the correspondence deals with everyday issues and concerns such as eating and sleeping habits, bowel troubles and the loneliness of life on the road. The letters also convey a deeply confident and uncompromising man who takes immense joy in writing his wife about his personal world while at the same time dismissing her from his professional one.

The power in this collection comes from the slowly but steadily growing tension that the reader senses from Alma Mahler (whose letters are not included but whose feelings can be discerned through Mahler's) against her clueless husband which culminates in her betrayal through infidelity. With his emotional sense of security violently violated, Mahler's letters completely unravel and come across as hesitant and pandering.Within the year, he was dead.

Mahler's musical genius has already been well-documented. What this book documents - in Mahler's own hand - is the important role Alma's unconditional love and emotional support played in his life and work, too. He underestimated her to his ultimate peril.
... Read more

15. Symphony No. 5 (Kalmus Edition)
by Gustav Mahler
Paperback: 116 Pages (2000-06-01)
list price: US$17.95 -- used & new: US$11.34
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0769294456
Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Piano duet players will be thrilled with this quality transcription for one piano, four hands of Mahler's Fifth Symphony.Amazon.com Review
The task of finding sheet music and scores that are trulyaffordable is a perennial problem for music students, music lovers,and even professional performers. By reprinting other companies' musicwhen the copyright runs out, Dover Publications has been a leader inthis area for decades. Best known for its full-size scores, Doveroffers a new line that should cheer the impoverished student andanyone else who appreciates a bargain. The company has now moved intothe miniature-scores market. Mini scores are ideal study guides, sizedright to fit into a pocket or handbag, and easy to pull out and followalong with at concerts. The new line from Dover (featuring a nicewide-bottom margin for note taking) carries a much lower retail pricethan the competition's.

The Dover score of Mahler's "Symphony No. 5 in C-sharpMinor" is a reprint of one originally published in 1904 byC.F. Peters of Leipzig. They've spruced it up with the addition of ahelpful four-page glossary of German musical terms with their Englishequivalents. Unlike the three symphonies that immediately preceded it,"Symphony No. 5 in C-sharp Minor" is not programmatic innature, nor does it make use of singers. Mahler composed it during hisengagement and early years of marriage to Alma Schindler. Thesymphony's structure builds to the resounding climax of the finalmovement, pausing at the fourth movement for a meditation on his lovefor Alma. This is a magnificently complex score, and one that rewardsrepeat listeners. --Sarah Bryan Miller ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

1-0 out of 5 stars printed on rough paper
Finally I bought Symphonies Nos. 5 and 6 in Full Score , though this edition is compact and reasonable.

The notes can be read. But with the age-glasses I cannot read the names of musical instruments and the characters of articulation and dynamics.

Anyway I cannot read the characters.

The signs of sharp and flat are also heavily to read.

Because they are printed dirty and collapsed on the rough paper like drawing paper.

The size of the book is A5. ... Read more

16. The Cambridge Companion to Mahler (Cambridge Companions to Music)
Paperback: 368 Pages (2007-12-17)
list price: US$30.99 -- used & new: US$24.72
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 052154033X
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
In the years approaching the centenary of Mahler's death, this book provides both summation of, and starting point for, an assessment and reassessment of the composer's output and creative activity. Authored by a collection of leading specialists in Mahler scholarship, its opening chapters place the composer in socio-political and cultural contexts, and discuss his work in light of developments in the aesthetics of musical meaning. Part II examines from a variety of analytical, interpretative and critical standpoints the complete range of his output, from early student works and unfinished fragments to the sketches and performing versions of the Tenth Symphony. Part III evaluates Mahler's role as interpreter of his own and other composers' works during his lifelong career as operatic and orchestral conductor. Part IV addresses Mahler's fluctuating reception history from scholarly, journalistic, creative, public and commercial perspectives, with special attention being paid to his compositional legacy. ... Read more

17. Gustav Mahler, Vol. 3: Vienna: Triumph and Disillusion, 1904-1907
by Henry-Louis De La Grange
Hardcover: 1054 Pages (2000-05-25)
list price: US$144.00 -- used & new: US$86.79
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 019315160X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
When the second volume of de La Grange's monumental study of Mahler appeared, it was hailed in The New Yorker, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, and many other publications as an indispensable portrait of the great composer. Here at last is the third volume of this magisterial work.

Ranging from 1904 to 1907, it explores Mahler's final years as administrator, producer, and conductor of the Vienna Opera. It was a time of intense inner struggle, with Mahler's energy and creative powers drained by the competing demands of running the Hofoper and struggling for recognition as a composer. And they were tragic years as well, especially 1907, Mahler's last year in Vienna, when the death of his daughter and the diagnosis of heart disease forced him to leave the Opera. Throughout the book, de La Grange offers true-to-life portraits of Mahler the human being, the family man, and the composer, and he weaves in innumerable testimonies and anecdotes that throw new light on the great composer's complex personality.

The product of forty years of research, here is the definitive study of a musical giant. It is, as The Wall Street Journal said of volume two, "a work of the first importance, one that nobody seriously interested in Mahler can possibly afford to skip." ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Comprehensive Study
The biography of Gustav Mahler by Henri Louis de La Grange is unlike any other I have read. Mr. de La Grange has searched for every scrap of information about Mahler that he could find. The result of his many years of research is a book that is as comprehensive as one could every want.For many readers, the book has too much information.However, the volumes that make up this biography stand as a resource for any question one might want to ask.

I found myself skimming some parts of this volume, particularly the quotes from critics. It is important to know what was reported about Mahler's productions at the Hofoper and the performances of his own music.After getting the general gist of what was being said, especially by negative critics, I did not need to know more.If I were researching the reception of Mahler's new productions for the Hofoper, it would be a different matter: all the information that I would need would be available to be with citations so I could check sources for myself.

What I found most interesting were the many descriptions of Mahler left by the people that knew him that Mr. de La Grange included.Perhaps the most memorable is one by Alfred Roller, who had been invited by Mahler to do some sunbathing. Roller provides us with a thorough description of Mahler's physical appearance.Another interesting remembrance was from Bruno Walter where he does not count Mahler as a true friend since friendship with Mahler was always on his terms.

The translation from the original French is good, if at time a bit dry. For anyone interesting in Mahler, this volume, covering the critical period 1904 - 1907, is indispensable.Perhaps the most valuable information is clearing up the rumor that Mahler was afflicted with heart disease. His real heart problem, probably caused by a child bout of rheumatic fever, was hardly a death sentence and would not have been cause for him to change his physical activities.

3-0 out of 5 stars A Mixed Blessing
For any devotee of Mahler's music, De La Grange's biography of the composer is, without doubt, required reading; the sheer mass of details in these volumes guarantees that. Yet despite this truly monumental effort, I think De La Grange has missed something utterly essential about Mahler's art.It is true, as even a cursory examination of Mahler's scores will reveal, that he was absolutely obsessive about matters of musical detail.But these details were always meant to serve over-arching, ineffable artistic ideas; ultimately, they are to be kneaded seamlessly into the fabric and sweep of the music.Even though Mahler's markings are much more detailed than most composers', he consistently insisted that what was greatest and most elemental in music could not be expressed in the notes and the markings; they are a means to an end.A precise recreation of everything Mahler wrote on each page of a given symphony does not necessarily equal a compelling recreation of his vision.And by analogy, this is the problem with De La Grange's biography.If the cliche of "missing the forest for the trees" was ever apt, it is in this case.The amount of pedestrian detail in these books renders them semi-lifeless, and as a result Mahler's truly compelling spirit is utterly missing from most of the pages.Simply put, more is simply not always better.And with Volume 4 about to be published at a length of over 1700 pages, one starts to wonder if this is less a case of thoroughness and more a reflection of an obsessive-compulsive disorder.Just because a person may have an encyclopedic knowledge of the history of the widget doesn't mean that he can express it effectively in writing.I find myself wondering if the folks at OUP were simply too intimidated by De La Grange's knowledge of his subject to insist on what he needed most: an editor.

In my view, this sort of pedestrian literalism is antithetical to Mahler's art; remember, this is the man who felt that the orchestration of the Beethoven 5th Symphony would be better-served by the inclusion of a part for E-flat Clarinet, and who drove his publishers crazy with revisions.His approach to art was fluid, imaginative and always changing; he found the notion of quantifying art and life in a fixed place abhorrent.De La Grange's literalist approach says much more about our time than Mahler's; in the performance sphere, this approach has become quite common, and the result has been a lot of quite dull performances of Mahler's works, something I hadn't thought was possible.It is an outlook we would do well to reject, even as we gather more information about Mahler's music and life.

5-0 out of 5 stars Engrossing
I had read the previous volume 2 of the life of Mahler several years ago and had anxiously awaited the issuance of this, the third in a four part series with high expectations.

I have not been disappointed.The extensive detail, expansive footnoting, and thorough research that went into this work is evident from the very first paragraph.

Highly recommended for any serious Mahler enthuasist.

4-0 out of 5 stars A full life of Mahler?
The monumental biography of Mahler by Henri de la Grange has been available in French for some years, and the latest volume to appear in English is part of an ongoing project to make the work available to a wideraudience.It is unique in the sheer mass of factual detail it presents,especially as regards contemporary critical reaction to Mahler's works andconducting.There is new material on William Ritter, an early admirer wholeft some colorful accounts of Herr Mahler in person; a

detailedphysical description of Mahler by Alfred Roller, a Hofoper associate; andmuch other information that will be new and interesting even tolong-standing Mahlerites who thought they knew it all.

However,de laGrange's almost exclusive focus on theexternals of Mahler's life works tothe detriment of the inner life, and this is the major shortcoming of hisbiography.There is littleprobing of the wellsprings of the mightyMahlerian will that powered a colossal productivity, nor of the fiercevitality coexisting with neuroses. Nor, surprisingly, is much explanationoffered as towhy a tyrannical ascetic like Mahler would suddenlydecideto marry someone half his age, a decision that took even his closestfriendscompletely by surprise. Why didn't he stay single, or marrysomeone his own age,such as the devoted and musical NatalieBauer-Lechner?

This question is important because it bears on the crucialone: Would Mahler have succeeded in solving the central problem of his last years -- keeping reality at bay in order tomaintain the inhumanintensity needed to complete his unique artistic mission -- without thetension generated by this inappropriate (but for him richly symbolic) andlargely sexless marriage,for which he,and to some extent also Alma'sparents, were guilty? Did he feel this guilt and at a certain level feed onit? de la Grange draws a blank on these questions.Here Alma's book"Gustav Mahler, Memoirs and Letters" is a bettersource, thoughone has to read between the lines.

de la Grange clearly dislikes Almaand would minimize her role.He also worships Mahler and will not permithim the slightest fault.Two examples: He cannot conceive that the heromay have had a congenital heart defect, it must have been acquired fromthroat infections.He omits to mention that Mahler's idolized mother Mariewas born lame and with adefective heart.According to Alma, who'd haveno reason to make this up, all the children were handicapped by themother's heart disease; there is also anecdotal evidence provided byBrunoWalter and others. Another example: de la Grange will not admit that thefinale to the Seventh may be a miscalculation, however interesting.Thushe advances a tortured argument to turn black into white, and puts himselfin the position of an "apologist nervous to the point ofobduracy" (Adorno's words).In the process, he

completely ignoresevidence that Mahler himself was uncomfortably aware of the problem(seethe foreword by Redlich to the Eulenberg pocket score of theSeventh).

Mahler is a Freudian figure if ever there was one, and one canargue that the ideal of theeternal feminine, as symbolized by thecomposite Alma/Marie, became crucial to Mahler's sense of purpose, a majorengine of his drive to create.Toward the end, he was psychologicallycompletely dependent on her, even to the point of spouting nonsenseregarding her abilities as a composer -- this, from the stern, inflexibledirector of the Hofoper!(The sad spectacle of Berlioz and his second wife Marie Recio comes to mind as another example of great-composer weakness.) That he hada mother fixation is attested by many, including Alma andFreud, and this would account for his lack of sexual interest; according toAlma, sex played only a very small part in his life. In any case,artistically the union was a brilliant success, even the marital crisis atthe end serving to spur him on to new heights -- witness the Tenth Symphonywith its impassioned marginalia addressed to Alma.With perfect timing,death then supervened to carry him off at the peak of his powers.

Although the music has lost none of its power and can speak for itself,there is still an unsatisfied need for a different kind of Mahlerbiography, one that is better balanced and probes the psychology of theman.For hagiography aside,Mahler's maladjustment was staggering evenfor his time, the hothouse atmosphere of fin-de-siecle Vienna just barelymaking his unique kind of greatness tenable. A great torturedartist onthe scale of a Gustav Mahler is inconceivable today, our time doesn't allowit;we've been there, done that. He would be cured or killed at once, andin either case silenced. And for you computer game programmers out there,take heart -- in additionto a "Freudian" biography, there maybe material here for an oeuvre of another sort perhapsmore congenial toour age -- a soft-core computer game called "Let's cuckoldMahler". In any case, the music remains.

5-0 out of 5 stars Towers over them all.
Much as Mahler himself towers over Romantic era composer, so does La Grange tower over all other Mahler biographers.Not that Mitchell et. al. don't do a fine job, they do.But for comprehensive detail and deepprobing and understanding of Mahler's life and music, La Grange is simplyat the highest peaks.This latest installment of his massive seriessustains his high standards of research, realiability and readability andfor all you devoted Mahlerians out there is a must read.For those curiousabout Mahler, this is actually not a great place to start; the cost aloneto read these three books, so far, on Mahler is a bad investment if youdon't yet worship his music!There are many single books that give a goodoverview of his life as a companion to his music, if not a real guide.Forthose of you, try Cooke or Kennedy, for the rest, worship here! ... Read more

18. Gustav Mahler The Wunderhorn Years
by Donald Mitchell
 Hardcover: 461 Pages (1976)

Isbn: 0891585095
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

19. Symphony No. 9 In Full Score
by Gustav Mahler
Paperback: 192 Pages (1993-03-18)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$9.44
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0486274926
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
This landmark of 20th-century symphonic writing, one of Mahler’s most popular and admired works, is notable for innovation, poetic drama and the fresh and formidable thinking Mahler brought to its composition. The full orchestral score is reprinted here from authoritative Universal-Edition, Vienna, 1912. New glossary of German terms.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

3-0 out of 5 stars Too much fine print
The score print is too small for my 71 yr. old eyes.In contrast to other Dover scores that I have, I need a magnifying glass to read this.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Choice for Mahler Fans
Once I had collected a number of orchestras performing all of Mahler's symphonies, I couldn't think of a better way to enhance my collection than to get the full scores, too.Sometimes I even play my clarinet along with the orchestra on the CD!What a joy!If you love Mahler -- and especially if you have a collection of his symphonies -- your compendium isn't truly complete without the full scores.The Dover Mahler scores are outstanding!

5-0 out of 5 stars An extraordinary symphony, right before your eyes
Mahler's 9th is one of the most incredible symphonies ever written.It isan immensely complex and detailed score, one that is difficult if notimpossible to appreciate without the aid of a score.It also allows thereader to see the inner workings of Mahler's compositional genius,combining motives in the most subtle of ways. ... Read more

20. Gustav Mahler, Vol. 2: Vienna: The Years of Challenge, 1897-1904
by Henry-Louis de La Grange
Hardcover: 944 Pages (1995-05-18)
list price: US$151.50 -- used & new: US$95.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0193151596
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
In an age of artistic accomplishment, Gustav Mahler stood out as one of the supremely gifted musicians of his generation. As a composer, he won acclaim for his startling originality. As a conductor, his relentless pursuit of perfection was sometimes seen as tyrannical by the singers and musicians who came under his baton. And always, even with his greatest triumphs, he provoked controversy among the critics. Now Henry-Louis de La Grange, Mahler's celebrated biographer, offers new insight into Mahler's life and work with his latest look at the career of this musical genius.

In Mahler in Vienna, La Grange follows the great musician to the intellectual and artistic capital of turn-of-the-century Europe. From Mahler's spectacular debut as director of the Vienna Court Opera to his triumphant tour of the continent, we see him at the height of his powers. La Grange vividly portrays the marvelous spectacle, including the extraordinary range of artists who worked with Mahler--the composers Dvorak, Gustave Charpentier, Richard Strauss, Zemlinsky, and Schoenberg; the painters, architects, and decorators of the Secession (led by Klimt); and the writers Hauptmann, Dehmel, Hofmannsthal, and Schnitzler. In Vienna, the conductor worked a revolution in standards of performance and (along with Secession painter Alfred Roller) scenic illustration. It was also during this period that he wrote some of his best-loved symphonies--including his Fourth and Fifth--and his three orchestral song-cycles and collections, the Wunderhorn-, Ruckert-, and Kindertotenlieder. For each of these works La Grange provides full notes and analytic descriptions. And the author does not neglect Mahler's temptestuous personal life, for during these years he met Alma Schindler--"the most beautiful woman in Vienna." La Grange deftly captures the story of their engagement and marriage in 1902.

Mahler remains one of the greatest figures in the historyf music, a man whose work provokes strong reactions today as in his own time. This account is just one part of the definitive four-volume biography Gustav Mahler, the result of a thirty-year research project; the author has personally translated it from his original French into English. Scrupulously researched and insightfully written, this volume is a brilliant account of a critical epoch in Mahler's life. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Thrilled
Hard to find book arrived in pristine condition, well packaged. If only I could find volume 1.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Worthwhile Look at Mahler
If you're a big fan of Mahler and are willing to take on a major reading project, this series is perfect for you.La Grange's detail is amazing, but this doesn't read like a dry, scholarly text.The language is perfectly accessible and La Grange navigates the facts in an engaging way.

One minor criticism:La Grange does tend to spend too long on tangents and background, so occasionally five or ten pages might flow by without much mention of Mahler.In most cases, the tangents are interesting.Nonetheless, this is the highest standard in Mahler biography and absolutely worthwhile.

At the time of this review, only volumes 2, 3, and 4 are available, with volume 1 currently in the editing phase.Let's hope they'll complete the series ASAP.Enjoy.

3-0 out of 5 stars More for reference than reading or understanding.
This is not biography in its best form.

De La Grange has done us a service by compiling a very detailed but largely chronological history of the events of Mahler's life.You'll find a largely blow-by-blow description of his life:compositional struggles;arguments with cast members, managers, and officials; correspondence with friends and colleagues;listings of cast members in the opera performances he conducted;reviews of his performances by the various publications;health problems, etc.The detail is extremely valuable.

However, De La Grange falls short because he rarely steps back from the detail in order to find the larger themes in Mahler's life, and he leaves that effort to the reader.This is asking too much:this is a projected four volume biography, and it will probably be well over 3,500 pages before it's done.

I imagine it will take a later biographer to come along and sift through all that De La Grange has delivered in order to write a more informative biography.

I have an additional issue with an editorial decision that's been made here.The first volume was published in the 1970's, by another publisher.Oxford has not re-published it, but will publish a second edition of the first volume when the fourth volume is published.They have styarted with the 2nd volume rather than the 1st, out of deference to those who might still have the 1st volume.Fair enough.But the footnotes that refer to content in the 1st volume only refer to chapters, not specific pages, and are thus incomplete.Perhaps the reasoning behind this is because the original 1st volume will be superceded by the 2nd edition 1st volume, and they don't want to be specific to something they imagine will be obsolete.However, at the current rate it could well be 5-10 years before that 2nd edition 1st volume is out.Will Oxford then ask readers to buy a 2nd edition 2nd volume that has page numbers in the footnotes?(The whole idea sounds like very little deference to those who might have the original 1st volume.)

5-0 out of 5 stars As close as you canget to getting to know the REAL Mahler
This is the Classic Mahler biography by the major Mahler scholar, Henry ouis de La Grange.Though this only covers the middle years, de La Grange's excellent use of primary sources let us learn first hand what Mahler was like as a musician, conductor, and human being.No other Mahler biography is so erudite and completely non-judgemental ... Read more

  1-20 of 99 | Next 20
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z  

Prices listed on this site are subject to change without notice.
Questions on ordering or shipping? click here for help.

site stats