On Sat, 25 Mar 2000, Joel Hill wrote:
>My question is: What should I look/listen for to make its
>"masterpieceness" more evident to me? I am not coming new to Mahler - his
>3rd is one of my favorites. With Das Lied, I seem to be put off by the
>singing, whereas I am not with the 3rd and 2nd symphonies. I am certainly
>willing to give old Gustav the benefit of the doubt and keep slogging thru
>it, but need a little advice as to why it is thought so highly of. (Yes,
>I know ended with a preposition).
I can't answer that for you ... only you can. But I can give you a shovel,
a pick, a blanket, a treasure map, a flashlight, and a pan so you can find
the gold yourself.
My suggestion (oh, not again, they all groan) is RUN right over to your
nearest music store or online shopping place and order the Dover edition
of the three song cycles by Mahler. It is not in score form. It's a piano
reduction which expands to allow extra staves for the more dense parts. If
you order from Dave's page you'll be helping out www.classical.net ...
a neat thing to remember!
Dover isbn 0 486-26954-x ... price when I got mine was eleven bucks,
US. Includes piano reduction and vocal lines for Lieder eines fahrenden
Gesellen (Songs of a Wayfarer), Kindertotenlieder and Das Lied von der
Erde, and it has a complete glossary of all German terms used in the music,
and translations of all songs.
Then, buy yourself a few of the less expensive cds. Compare them. My
favorite has already been mentioned: Klemperer with Ludwig and Wunderlich.
This set of songs needs repeated listening for it to get under your skin.
When you are looking at the notes in front of you, you will be able to hear
textures better. You will be able to concentrate better, too.
I also have an oddity on cd: It's a version on BIS -- for chamber
orchestra and voices with orchestration by Schoenberg/Riehn and it is
performed by the Sinfonia Lahti Chamber Ensemble, conducted by Osmo Vanska,
umlauts on both a's. I got it when it was discontinued, so you may find it
in a used cd store.
Sometimes it just takes a little longer for these pieces to work, but I
have always found them well worth the effort. Suddenly one day, you will
find yourself whistling part of it and then you'll know you have absorbed
it. Whether you will love it is a matter of taste, but in time you will be
able to notice the "masterpiece-ness" of it. And once it stops being just
a mush of music, the emotional content will reach you, too.
Mimi Ezust <[log in to unmask]>