Dec
20
2013
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Claudio Abbado on Gustav Mahler

Claudio Abbado talks to Universal Edition about the music of Gustav Mahler.
Video language: German (with English subtitles).
This interview is included in our new book
Gustav Mahler: The Conductors’ Interviews
Edited by Wolfgang Schaufler

May
27
2011
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Alan Gilbert on Gustav Mahler

“In New York he was kind of giving up”

Do you remember the first time you heard Mahler’s music?

Gilbert: I couldn’t swear that it was the first time I heard his music, but my first memory of Mahler is very clear. I was nine years old and my parents decided that it was time for me to hear all the symphonies of Mahler. The New York Philharmonic was playing a Mahler festival in Carnegie Hall, I think it was in September or October of 1976. They bought me a ticket and I heard all of his symphonies. I think the first one was the 5th and ”“ maybe because it was the first or maybe because there was this incedible trumpet solo that really struck my nine-year-old fancy ”“ that’s the one that stayed with me. But I did hear all the symphonies.

[...]

Find the full interview in Gustav Mahler: The Conductors Interviews
Edited by Wolfgang Schaufler
ISBN: 978-3-7024-7162-0
ISMN: 979-0-008-08493-5
Order number: UE26311 (German Edition: UE26310)

Feb
28
2011
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Herbert Blomstedt on Gustav Mahler

“Mahler must have been a great man”

Do you remember the first time you heard Mahler’s music?

Blomstedt: I think so. It was the 1st Symphony and I didn’t like it particularly. I was 14 or 15 and I thought it was vulgar. It was in Gothenburg. I am sure Issay Dobrowen conducted it very well, but I was right in the Bach-Beethoven-late-quartets-phase of my development, so anything that diverged too much from that I felt was not really worth my attention [laughs]. It took quite a few years before I realised that Mahler was great music.

[...]

Find the full interview in Gustav Mahler: The Conductors Interviews
Edited by Wolfgang Schaufler
ISBN: 978-3-7024-7162-0
ISMN: 979-0-008-08493-5
Order number: UE26311 (German Edition: UE26310)

Feb
02
2011
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Simon Rattle on Gustav Mahler

“Mahler is the reason why I’m a conductor today”

Do you remember the first time you heard Mahler’s music?

Rattle: I’m not sure. I grew up in Liverpool when they were doing what was actually the first European Mahler cycle with the same orchestra and conductor. It’s extraordinary when you think about it – this was the mid 60s, but no one in Europe had played all the symphonies with the same conductor. It had only been done in Utah, by the Utah Symphony Orchestra. And one forgets how off-centre Mahler was at the time. Berthold Goldschmidt had only just performed Mahler’s 3rd for the first time in Britain; that was in 1962. I still have a magnificent tape of that. So, Sir Charles Groves and the Liverpool Philharmonic did two a year for five-and-a-half years, because they also did Das Lied von der Erde [The Song of the Earth] and the early version of the completed 10th. I can remember, because I was studying: violin with one player in the orchestra, percussion with another, and they said, “Ah! We’re on our twice-yearly struggle with Mahler.”

[...]

Find the full interview in Gustav Mahler: The Conductors Interviews
Edited by Wolfgang Schaufler
ISBN: 978-3-7024-7162-0
ISMN: 979-0-008-08493-5
Order number: UE26311 (German Edition: UE26310)

Dec
16
2010
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Norman Lebrecht on Gustav Mahler

In our latest Mahler interview, journalist, broadcaster and musicologist Norman Lebrecht talks to UE about Gustav Mahler’s life and music.

Read Norman Lebrecht’s blog: Slipped disc

Nov
23
2010
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Andris Nelsons on Gustav Mahler

“Mahler wanted to show the world: I have a problem!”

Do you remember the first time you heard Mahler’s music?

Nelsons: The first time I consciously heard Mahler’s music was his 1st Symphony. It was strange because I was very much interested in nature sounds at the time, in music about nature. I had recordings of water sounds and bird songs and one day I asked somebody what music they could recommend I listen to if I liked that kind of music, just out of interest.

This person gave me a tape and said, “There is one composer … He had forgotten the name, but it was Mahler’s 1st Symphony. The beginning, which is a chord in the strings, is also the sound of nature, absolutely” [sings]. This was the first Mahler that I heard; I was maybe 11 or 12 years old and I fell in love with his music.

[...]

Find the full interview in Gustav Mahler: The Conductors Interviews
Edited by Wolfgang Schaufler
ISBN: 978-3-7024-7162-0
ISMN: 979-0-008-08493-5
Order number: UE26311 (German Edition: UE26310)

Nov
16
2010
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Josep Pons on Gustav Mahler

“Mahler is more contemporary now than in 1910”

Do you remember the first time you heard Mahler’s music?

Pons: It was at the Schola Cantorum in Montserrat. I studied at the monastery from age 10 to 14 and sang in the Schola Cantorum. This is a place with a very long tradition and a very good library, and also where I heard Mahler’s music for the first time – recorded, not live.

Straight after I left Montserrat, a few friends gave me the complete symphonies, conducted by Bernard Haitink with Elly Ameling singing in the 4th. That was the soundtrack to my life, so to speak, when I was 14, 15, 16 years old. Later on, the first time I conducted Mahler’s music was with a small group. A chamber version of Das Lied von der Erde [The Song of the Earth], Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen [Songs of a Wayfarer] – those were my initial contacts with Mahler.

[...]

Find the full interview in Gustav Mahler: The Conductors Interviews
Edited by Wolfgang Schaufler
ISBN: 978-3-7024-7162-0
ISMN: 979-0-008-08493-5
Order number: UE26311 (German Edition: UE26310)

Sep
21
2010
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Gustavo Dudamel on Gustav Mahler

“Wow, Mahler!”

Do you remember the first time you heard Mahler’s music?

Dudamel: It was years ago, and rather funny; my father played the trombone in a salsa group and was also playing with an orchestra. I remember finding the third trombone part of Mahler’s 1st Symphony. I recall taking my father’s trombone and trying to play [imitates a trombone] – I was maybe 11 or 12 years old at the time, and I was playing the violin. But I remember a recording of the 1st; I received it as a gift from an uncle. That was the first Mahler I ever listened to.

[...]

Find the full interview in Gustav Mahler: The Conductors Interviews
Edited by Wolfgang Schaufler
ISBN: 978-3-7024-7162-0
ISMN: 979-0-008-08493-5
Order number: UE26311 (German Edition: UE26310)

Sep
20
2010
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Riccardo Chailly on Gustav Mahler

“Mahler’s First was the great emotion of my youth”

Do you remember the first time you heard Mahler’s music?

Chailly: Yes, very clearly; it was in the early 60s in Rome, at the Auditorium del Foro Italico with the RAI Rome Orchestra. I attended a rehearsal of the 1st Symphony, conducted by Zubin Mehta, who was very young at that time. I was there because my father was working at the RAI Rome, programming classical music. He had to leave for a meeting and said, “Stay here for one hour and don’t move, don’t talk, don’t do anything!” When I heard the power of the music it left me feeling at a complete standstill. I didn’t know what to do, how to react” – it was the great emotion of my youth.

[...]

Find the full interview in Gustav Mahler: The Conductors Interviews
Edited by Wolfgang Schaufler
ISBN: 978-3-7024-7162-0
ISMN: 979-0-008-08493-5
Order number: UE26311 (German Edition: UE26310)

Jul
05
2010
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Manfred Honeck on Gustav Mahler

“The rubato is essential when conducting Mahler”

Do you remember the first time you heard Mahler’s music?

Honeck: I remember it very well. I was a member of the Austrian Youth Orchestra; we went to Berlin to participate in the Karajan Competition. Several youth orchestras from all over Europe were taking part; I heard the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie performing Mahler’s 1st Symphony. I was extremely impressed right away, not only by the big sound ”“ other symphonies have a big sound too ”“ but also by the way Mahler treated the darkness and the special significance of his music, particularly in the third movement.

It might have something to do with my own experience of losing my mother. She had nine children. I took part in the funeral, of course, and the way it was conducted reminded me a little bit of this music. I must have been 13 or 14 years old at the time and it was remarkable. It was probably one of the most important moments for me. I was almost shocked that this could happen with music, that it could come into my life and into my heart, where it has stayed ever since.

[...]

Find the full interview in Gustav Mahler: The Conductors Interviews
Edited by Wolfgang Schaufler
ISBN: 978-3-7024-7162-0
ISMN: 979-0-008-08493-5
Order number: UE26311 (German Edition: UE26310)

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