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Thread: Mahler 6th

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    Senior Member Morigan's Avatar
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    Default Mahler 6th

    Hello again dear friends~

    The local symphony orchestra is going to be performing Mahler's 6th Symphony on May 6th. I'll probably go, because I basically go to almost every concert they do.

    However, I must admit I'm mostly a Baroque/classical/romantic lover and that I don't know much about Mahler. I don't really like him nor dislike him. Pretty neutral. I've seen videos of Berstein conducting the 2nd and the 8th Symphonies and I was quite impressed, but I can't say I enjoyed every moment of it.

    I've read the Wikipedia article about the 6th, and they say it's less often performed, dark and pessimistic. That doesn't look too promising!

    Anyway, this is a question to you all, Mahler fans. Should I go? (it's not a question of money, it's like 10 bucks for students).

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    Depends on how good your local symphony is. And how good your conductor is.

    The 6th is pretty spectacular on the stereo; it's overwhelming live. But only if it's played well. It's a big, difficult piece to play, but a real thrill to hear if it's played well.

    If Wikipedia's idiotic "dark and pessimistic" has already poisoned you, and if the performance is awful--or even adequate--that could put you off a really great and exciting piece.

    May 6th though. Plenty of time to find a cd of Bernstein's performance. (I've followed this with the score, so I know that the criticisms of this as "Bernstein's 6th" are way off-base. It's an uncannily accurate reading.)

    That's not a bad plan for preparing for any concert of music you don't know, anyway. Get a recording of it. Listen to it. Several times. Then even if performance is only so-so, the piece isn't ruined for you.

    Let us know how it goes, of course!

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    personaly,ber.w/wienPh. does not have the point of his sound, waters, sky, fire there and a lot of green colour. Go,if they know thow to play loud.
    anyway, suport the music

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    Member mahlerfan's Avatar
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    The Sixth is in my opinion one of the greatest symphonies by Mahler. Yes, definitely go.
    “If a composer could say what he had to say in words he would not bother trying to say it in music.”

    -Gustav Mahler

    Check out my music at Icompositions.
    http://www.icompositions.com/artists/mahlerfan

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    Senior Member Kurkikohtaus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morigan View Post
    The local symphony orchestra is going to be performing Mahler's 6th Symphony on May 6th.
    Quote Originally Posted by some guy View Post
    Depends on how good your local symphony is. And how good your conductor is.
    Seeing as Morigan is from Ottawa, I did a little checking, assuming it would be the NACO (National Arts Centre Orchestra), an excellent orchestra, with Pinchas Zuckerman conducting... but it isn't. It turns out that it is the Ottawa Symphony, which is a Community Orchestra with paid principals and paid subs for larger works like Mahler 6th.

    I have never heard the OSO play, but in general, the problem with Canadian Community Orchestras is that while the winds and brass may be OK, the strings are usually absolutely horrible, by professional standards. The orchestras try to make up for this horridness by attracting as many string players that will fit on the stage, sometimes as many as 20 1st violins, 18 2ns, etc. This can help but often doesn't.

    So the question is, how good is the OSO compared to NACO? This is something that you should consider, because if it really does sound like an amateur orchestra, Mahler is not worth hearing there, it will probably turn you away from an otherwise very interesting work.

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    Senior Member Morigan's Avatar
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    Kurkikohtaus, I am very surprised and proud that you would know the NACO! I go to almost every one of their concerts and I'm very fond of them (and of maestro Zuckerman!).

    As you pointed out, the OSO is a lower-grade orchestra... Personally, I've never been to any of their performances yet. I just read their annual programme in September and I wasn't generally interested. Anyway.

    I'll get a recording of the symphony first, and then I'll be able to compare.

    I'm pretty sure I'll be disappointed, after hearing the NACO and the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal with Kent Nagano last week!

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    Senior Member Kurkikohtaus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morigan View Post
    Kurkikohtaus, I am very surprised and proud that you would know the NACO!
    Morigan, let me explain... I now live in Prague, but I was born in Toronto and studied at the University of Toronto Faculty of Music until 2001. In the summers of 1999 and 2000, I attended conducting masterclasses with the NACO, the instructors were Gustav Meier in 99 and Jorma Panula in 2000. Both years, Zuckerman was present as well and "kibitzed" along with some suggestions here and there.

    So that's where I know NACO from!

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    Senior Member Chi_townPhilly's Avatar
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    Well, the weekend's over, and I was wondering how the story ends. If you did not see the performance, Msr. M, I was wondering if you were at least able to take advantage of a recording? For my part, I view the 6th as the "Mahler-geek's-Mahler-Symphony." (c.f.: Bruckner 8th, the "Bruckner-geek's-Bruckner-Symphony." Full disclosure statement follows- I am something of a "Bruckner-geek!")
    While on the topic of this particular symphony, does anyone have any feelings on the "exposition repeat" controversy in the first movement? I, for one, don't miss it when it's omitted. I recognize that a) this currently seems to be a minority opinion, and b) it may well have been shaped by the fact that my first exposures to the work have the repeat left out.
    Forgive the digression, but I was wondering, Maestro K, about 1) Born/educated in Canada, + 2) Sibelius-phile (therefore possible "Finno-phile" [or should I say "Suomi-phile?"]) + 3) Resident of Czech Rebublic = .... hockey fan?? And how about you, Msr. M, now that the Senators are in the "Final Four?"
    The hardest knife ill us'd doth lose his edge. Shakespeare- Sonnet 95

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    Senior Member Kurkikohtaus's Avatar
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    I have been a Toronto Maple Leafs fan ever since I can remember and still am, listening to their games on internet radio when I can. I know, a sad team that hasn't done anything for years and years...

    Back on topic, I don't like the repeat in Mahler 6th either. I have heard it live with the repeat, and it simply sounded like a repeat.

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    what about hammer??
    a??

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    Senior Member Morigan's Avatar
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    Well, I'm sorry everyone, but I didn't go to the concert! I had another event with friends and I decided not to go... and it was on a Sunday, what the hell? I did, however, get my hands on a recording. It's the Bernstein recording (his second cycle I believe).. I borrowed it from a friend.

    I'm liking Mahler more and more every time I listen to him. When I was younger, his music used to shock me a bit or to drive me away quickly. Now, I find myself hypnotised and enthralled by these complex and heavy symphonies. God, maybe I'll even start enjoying Bruckner!

    I have to say that the 6th is not my favourite at the moment, since I'm going through a phase where I prefer optimistic music. I can see why it's the "Mahler-geek's-Mahler-Symphony" though!

    About this particular cycle, I'm wondering: what do you think about Bernstein's Mahler? I'm thinking about buying the DVD set...

    And about the Sens, YEEEEAH. No offence, Maestro Kurki, but ***** the Leafs

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    this repeated da capo is like those two hammer dooms, that is the tragic

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    Senior Member Chi_townPhilly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurkikohtaus View Post
    [SIZE="1"]I have been a Toronto Maple Leafs fan ever since I can remember and still am, listening to their games on internet radio when I can. I know, a sad team that hasn't done anything for years and years.
    Well, take a look at the cities in my name. As long as there's a Chicago Black Hawks, you cannot say that Toronto is the most historically feeble hockey firm. So, now I live near Philadelphia, and their team led the league in goals allowed this year. Lately, my local hockey teams (wherever I am), have (vaccuumed) like a Dyson with cyclonic action!

    Oh, yeah, and glad to hear I'm not alone on that "repeat" issue, either
    The hardest knife ill us'd doth lose his edge. Shakespeare- Sonnet 95

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