Jun
18
2010
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Valery Gergiev on Gustav Mahler

“Mahler’s Seventh made me sleepless”

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

Gergiev: I remember it very vaguely. It was the 1st Symphony. Obviously, I was a very, very young man, but I remember that final movement when the horn section suddenly stands up and continues to play while standing. It’s a very powerful statement of desire in this symphony. That was very memorable.

That was a long time ago and, of course, it was also a long time before I started to look at Mahler’s symphonies ”“ although when I was preparing to participate in the Herbert von Karajan Competition for young conductors, I saw that Mahler’s 1st was on the list of pieces to prepare. That meant that if you prepared it, you could be asked to conduct the second movement, part of the finale, part of the first movement or just a couple of tempo transitions at the end ”“ they don’t give you the entire symphony to conduct.

[...]

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)

May
14
2010
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Sakari Oramo on Gustav Mahler

“Mahler controls chaos”

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

Oramo: I have to confess that I can’t remember. I went to concerts with my father quite often when I was young, especially when my mother was playing, she is a pianist. But Mahler’s music ”“ I suppose it could have been when Igor Markevitch was conducting in Helsinki. And I seem to remember that my mother played Bartók’s Third Piano Concerto with him, and then there was Mahler’s Symphony No. 1. It could have been then.

[...]

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)

Apr
24
2010
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Antonio Pappano on Gustav Mahler

“Mahler wanted to live, that’s the whole point!”

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

Pappano: My first encounter with Mahler’s music was, of course, with the vocal music; the Rückert-Lieder ”“ Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen [I am lost to the world] had a huge impact on me, but you know, strangely enough, the song that stays with me is Liebst du um Schönheit [If you love for beauty]. I know that song was originally not part of the group, but it’s so specifically Mahlerian. Mahler’s identity is absolutely unmistakable ”“ in three notes. And this is what made such a huge impression on me; it couldn’t be anybody else.

It’s very popular to say that Mahler was influenced by this or that. He was a conductor, the greatest conductor of his generation, certainly for opera, and he had everything in his head, so of course his music can be a mishmash of all different things; but what you do with this mishmash, what you do with your influences and how you make them into something that is your own ”“ he did that like nobody else.

[...]

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
21
2010
--

Lorin Maazel on Gustav Mahler

“I would never have asked him anything”

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

Maazel: The first time I conducted a movement of a Mahler symphony was in Tanglewood. I was a young conductor ”“ I was 20, I think ”“ and I conducted the first movement of Mahler’s 2nd, and that was my first contact with his music.

When did I first hear it? Well, sometime in my teens, rather late I would think. I was a member of the Pittsburgh Symphony for three years; I played in the violin section, first as a 2nd and then as a 1st, and I do not remember ever having played a Mahler symphony during those three years.

[...]

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
11
2010
--

Mariss Jansons on Gustav Mahler

“With Mahler you have to give everything”

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

Jansons: I can’t remember the year exactly. I am not so young anymore that I can remember so many years ago [laughs]. I think it was approximately the end of the 50s or the beginning of the 60s, something like that, so I was probably around 16-18 years old.  I only remember that the first time I heard Mahler I was so impressed, it was like I was in heaven. Even though I was very young ”“ I think I was still studying at the music school or possibly already at the conservatory, I can’t say exactly ”“ but it made such a big impression on me; I was absolutely in heaven. And I understood that he was this genius, this great composer, and I suppose that when you are young in some ways you always think, ”˜that’s my composer’.

[...]

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
14
2009
1

Michael Gielen on Gustav Mahler

“Bernstein turned Mahler into kitsch”

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

Gielen: I remember very well. It was around 1956 in Vienna; Mitropoulos performed the 6th with the Vienna Philharmonic. I admired Mitropoulos very much; I was also his assistant at the opera.

I had read through the 6th, but I wouldn’t say that I knew it. As a conductor, I was still a beginner, but it was clear to me that the symphony was so under-rehearsed that it was barely recognisable. Of course it is a very complex work ”“ the third movement was wonderful, but the second turned out to be very problematic, due to the changes in metre and the syncopations ”“ and I would describe the finale as noise.

[...]

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)

Oct
15
2009
1

David Zinman on Gustav Mahler

“Mahler is a universe in itself”

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

Zinman: Yes I do, but I didn’t know it was Mahler at the time. It was in New York City when I was about 13 years old, and I was taken to a rehearsal of the New York Philharmonic there which Mitropoulos was conducting.

After that, I heard some Mahler on the radio, conducted by Bruno Walter. I just thought, yes, this is great music. Then of course the most important time for me was when I finally left America and went to England, where I heard Horenstein conduct the 3rd Symphony and Solti conducting the 4th, and many conductors were beginning to play more and more Mahler ”“ this was in ’60 and ’61. Then I moved to Holland, where there is a great Mahler tradition of course, and I got to hear all the symphonies conducted by Haitink, who was very young. And I also conducted some Mahler myself; the first time I conducted the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, I put some of the Rückert-Lieder on the programme. And once, when I replaced Haitink in a concert, I did all of Des Knaben Wunderhorn [The Boy’s Magic Horn] with Jessye Norman. So I was becoming more and more steeped in Mahler, and when I got my own orchestra ”“ the Rochester Philharmonic ”“ I started to do all the symphonies, and then when I went to Baltimore, I did all the symphonies there as well, sometimes twice. And now here in Zurich I am doing them all again.

[...]

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)

Oct
13
2009
--

Zubin Mehta on Gustav Mahler

“I would love to ask him a thousand questions”

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

Mehta: That was in Bombay. It was a recording of the 4th, conducted by Bruno Walter, and the singer was Désirée von Halban. As a youngster, perhaps this was a good start, because the 4th looks at the world through the eyes of a child. I was not a child, I was a teenager, but the music was immediately accessible.

[...]

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)

Aug
18
2009
--

Esa-Pekka Salonen on Gustav Mahler

“Mahler embraced everything that exists”

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

Salonen: It might have been the 5th Symphony. My teacher, Jorma Panula, was the first Finnish conductor to conduct a complete Mahler cycle ”“ that is, all the Mahler symphonies ”“ in Finland in the 70s. I did hear every piece in the cycle during that time, but I cannot remember what the first one was. I do, however, remember feeling slightly bewildered. I was very familiar with Bruckner at the time, and I was very taken by the simplicity and clarity of form in Bruckner.

[...]

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)

Aug
14
2009
--

Ingo Metzmacher on Gustav Mahler

“Mahler is my point of reference”

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

Metzmacher: I think I heard Mahler for the first time in the context of Ives, who always interested me; there’s the story that when Mahler came back from New York he had an Ives score in his suitcase and wanted to bring him to Europe, and then unfortunately he died ”“ there are connections between Ives and Mahler.

I had a book by Kurt Blaukopf, his famous book about Mahler, and what interested me most at the time was the description of when he went to the Jahrmarkt [country fair]. He describes at length how it felt for him to hear the different types of music around him as he went through the fairground. He could hear a waltz here, a polka there, a brass band there. He could hear it all at the same time, but the perspective changed as he walked, of course, because he was nearer to one source of music than another.

[...]

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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