Oct
15
2009

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)

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