Mahler 6

When I was 18 or 19, still living at home while commuting to college at UCLA, I had a tiny clock radio in my bedroom, which was my only source of music aside from the Tijuana Brass LPs playing in the living room. In May 1974 the public radio station KPFK broadcast a “Mahlerthon”, a many-hour anthology of tracks from the symphonies and other works of Austrian composer Gustav Mahler, arranged and introduced by William Malloch (RIP). . It was a revelation. I had never heard music like this, and bonded to his music immediately.

The closest Google link I can find is this, with what seems to be a transcript of the show, beginning about half-way down.

Just now I am watching/listening to a Bernard Haitink performance of the Symphony #6. It’s fascinating watching the performers close-up. You always wonder, do they *feel* this music? Or is it just a job for them?

The conductors, of course, do *feel* the music. That’s their job. And trying to translate that feeling to the performers.

And of course, the final moment of this symphony is stunning. Though perhaps not so much in this live performance, or at least not in an audio performance where you can’t turn up the volume. (Between YouTube and my PC, my audio volume does not go up very high.)

I think I’ve only heard two Mahler symphonies live. One was during an early trip to Europe; a performance of the 5th symphony, at Albert Hall, in London. Years later, a performance by the LA Philharmonic of the Symphony #9, with its incredibly moving finale, that alternates between hymn and mysticism, and finally fades to almost nothing, with a subtly inverted motif, to signal the final, resigned, conclusion.

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