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Book Title: Letters To His Wife|
The size of the: 15.47 MB
Edition: Cornell University Press
Date of issue: October 20th 2004
The author of the book: Gustav Mahler
Format files: PDF
ISBN 13: 9780801443404
Read full description of the books Letters To His Wife:"Gustav Mahler and Alma Maria Schindler were married in . . . 1902. The bride was twenty-one and a half years old, her groom a few months short of forty-two. Apart from their substantial age difference, it seems to have been the very disparity of their intellectual and social backgrounds that drew them together. Mahler was attracted to Alma by her beauty, her alert mind and emotional intensity. Though aware that he possessed by far the broader outlook, he trusted in Alma's ability and willingness to learn from him."-from the Introduction"Once the stiffness of unfamiliarity has been softened by a few months of marriage, Mahler's style of correspondence with Alma is generally simple, direct, and astonishingly down-to-earth. In a manner akin to that of his musical style, he spikes his language with witticisms and double-entendres, colloquialisms and quotations from librettos and classical works of literature."-from the PrefaceThis profusely illustrated collection of Gustav Mahler's letters to his wife Alma is more comprehensive than any previous edition; it contains 350 letters, 188 of them until now unpublished. Since 1995, when the German edition of this book was first published, two events have served to expand its horizons: the publication in 1997 of the complete text of Alma's early diaries, dating from January 1898 to March 1902, and the publication in 2003 of a catalogue of all Mahler letters acquired from the Moldenhauer Archives. With the aid of this new material, the editors were also able to revise the dates assigned to many of the letters. Commentaries and annotations throughout the book have been corrected and expanded annotations included. The editors' introduction provides a biographical context for the correspondence that follows.
Read information about the authorGustav Mahler was a late-Romantic composer and one of the leading conductors of his generation. He was born to a Jewish family in the village of Kalischt in Bohemia, in what was then the Austrian Empire, now Kaliště in the Czech Republic. His family later moved to nearby Iglau (now Jihlava), where Mahler grew up.
As a composer, Mahler acted as a bridge between the 19th-century Austro-German tradition and the modernism of the early 20th century. While in his lifetime his status as a conductor was established beyond question, his own music gained wide popularity only after periods of relative neglect which included a ban on its performance in much of Europe during the Nazi era. After 1945 the music was discovered and championed by a new generation of listeners; Mahler then became a frequently performed and recorded composer, a position he has sustained into the 21st century.
Born in humble circumstances, Mahler displayed his musical gifts at an early age. After graduating from the Vienna Conservatory in 1878, he held a succession of conducting posts of rising importance in the opera houses of Europe, culminating in his appointment in 1897 as director of the Vienna Court Opera. During his ten years in Vienna, Mahler—who had converted to Catholicism to secure the post—experienced regular opposition and hostility from the anti-Semitic press. Nevertheless, his innovative productions and insistence on the highest performance standards ensured his reputation as one of the greatest of opera conductors, particularly as an interpreter of the stage works of Wagner and Mozart. Late in his life he was briefly director of New York's Metropolitan Opera and the New York Philharmonic.
Mahler's oeuvre is relatively small; for much of his life composing was necessarily a part-time activity while he earned his living as a conductor. Aside from early works such as a movement from a piano quartet composed when he was a student in Vienna, Mahler's works are designed for large orchestral forces, symphonic choruses and operatic soloists. Most of his twelve symphonic scores are very large-scale works, often employing vocal soloists and choruses in addition to augmented orchestral forces. These works were often controversial when first performed, and several were slow to receive critical and popular approval; exceptions included his Symphony No. 2, Symphony No. 3, and the triumphant premier of his Eighth Symphony in 1910. Some of Mahler's immediate musical successors included the composers of the Second Viennese School, notably Arnold Schoenberg, Alban Berg and Anton Webern. Shostakovich and Benjamin Britten are among later 20th-century composers who admired and were influenced by Mahler. The International Gustav Mahler Institute was established in 1955 to honour the composer's life and work.
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