Mahler’s magic

Mahler: Origins and Legacy


  • Symphony No. 1 in D major ‘Titan’

Disc 1:
1. Documentary Episode One – “Gustav Mahler: Origins”
2. Concert Program One – Mahler Symphony No. 1

Disc 2:
1. Documentary Episode Two – “Gustav Mahler: Legacy”
2. Concert Program Two – A Mahler Journey

Performed by the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas

This excellent DVD explores the life and works of Gustav Mahler, in two documentaries and two live performances.
I am a strong admirer of Mr. Thomas’ interpretations of the works of Mahler. This recording shows that he has studied the life of the composer, and he knows a huge amount of details about the composer’s roots, family situation, his marriage and overall background.

Michael Tilson Thomas travels to the provincial Austro-Hungarian city of Kaliste, where Mahler was born. The viewer learns of Mahler’s time as a young conductor, his appointments as a conductor in Vienna and New York, his turbulent marriage to Alma Schindler, and the sudden, tragic death of his daughter. All of this becomes the video: “Keeping Score: Mahler”

This two-disc set includes the documentary accompanied by a second disc with concert performances by the San Francisco Symphony including the entire Mahler first symphony, as well as selected movements of other works.

Michael Tilson Thomas says: “In his compositions he made reference to many styles, building his huge symphonies from materials abstracted from songs, dances and marches from many cultures. His symphonies, or worlds, as he called them, represent the many ways that people make music and why they make music. In “Keeping Score: Mahler”, we walk in his footsteps, visit the places and sounds that influenced his life.”

And here is what BBC Music Magazine, wrote in May 2011:

“As in previous issues, the wealth of solidly researched detail is musically provocative and visually stimulating…Tilson Thomas presents Mahler as embracing both [Jewish and Christian roots] as part of a universal musical and moral outlook…overall, Tilson Thomas and his associates bring Mahler’s music to life in a way that makes even the novice appreciate its astounding unity within diversity.”

Here is the background for this DVD, as explained by Mr. Thomas:

Here is the music form the Mahler first symphony: Michael Tilson Thomas conducts the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra:

Tags: “Keeping Score: Mahler”, Michael Tilson Thomas, San Francisco Symphony Orchestra

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