Friday, May 21, 2010

Eight Reasons Why Mahler and his Sixth Symphony are the Bomb

1) The first thirty-six seconds of the symphony sounds like a storm warning of the biggest trouble you have ever seen, bearing down on you Right Now.

2) The Sixth was immediatley labeled "satanic." Just like Cradle of Filth.

3) After the premier performance, Mahler was found pacing the floor in the dressing room, weeping from the intensity of hearing what he himself had created.

4) Mahler was Anette's mother's favorite. Knowing Mahler is like knowing a little more about Resi.

5) The strange little cow bells which shimmer, almost beyond (my) hearing range, in both the first movement and the Finale. But maybe I'm just imagining them.

6) The fact that with the Sixth, which was first performed in 1906, Mahler expressed something of the mindset of the Austrians and Germans who would, eight years later, declare Total War on the World. (Credit for this insight, as well as info in 2 and 3, goes to Alex Ross, and his awesome book The Rest is Noise.)

7)Here was a man who understood the phrase "terrible beauty."

8) Cool glasses.


Anonymous said...

Zipped over to iTunes to check out Mahler's Sixth Symphony or Symphony No. 6 (loved your description of it) and can't find it. Does it go by any other name?

pat said...

Should be findable as his Sixth Symphony, or # 6. Maybe some call it Symphony in A Minor, or "Tragic." Thanks for reading!