Author Topic: Mahler, not Gustav: ALMA  (Read 4132 times)

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uffeviking

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Mahler, not Gustav: ALMA
« on: May 06, 2007, 06:29:29 AM »
Since we have a plethora of Mahler threads inundating us, why not bring up his wife? She did compose, you know, and she was not all that bad either ;)

There is a London CD of Zemlinsky's A Florentine Tragedy and tacked on to fill up the disc is a collection of six of her songs presented by the mezzo soprano Iris Vermillion. The foremost fact ranking the songs in my favor is that Alma wrote them for mezzos, avoiding shrieking excesses by high sopranos, not my favourite category of female vocal performers.  ::)

Alma's subject of those songs published on the CD, with the exception of two, is nature: Waldseligkeit and Licht in der Nacht are two good examples. Not kidding, I have heard worse than what she wrote!  :)

Greta

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Re: Mahler, not Gustav: ALMA
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2007, 06:48:14 AM »
Oooh, great thread, Lis! I'm a mezzo too. :)

I would love to hear her songs, and would like to actually find out more about her. She was really an interesting woman, very intelligent and cultured. It seems she took it very hard when Gustav told her basically, "Hey, it's all about me, I'm the composer in this family!" I can imagine how hard that would be if a man told me I had to give up playing my instruments or singing. I certainly wouldn't take it as well Alma did...

uffeviking

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Re: Mahler, not Gustav: ALMA
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2007, 07:40:24 AM »
I found a list of her songs:

http://www.recmusic.org/lieder/m/amahler.html

Unfortunately the literature available about her is mostly dealing with her personal life, calling her a femme fatale, among the nicer attributes. She was an intelligent woman and it was intelligent, creative men, who found her attractive. What's wrong with that? The attitude of her husband, unappreciative of her talent, was more the fault of the period in time where 'equal rights' was not in fashion!  :(



mahlertitan

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Re: Mahler, not Gustav: ALMA
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2007, 10:20:36 AM »
How do you do that, MT?

i have a magical wand.

Steve

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Re: Mahler, not Gustav: ALMA
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2007, 10:26:41 AM »
Well, every artisan has his tricks. I suppose you came up with this one then?

Offline max

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Re: Mahler, not Gustav: ALMA
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2007, 08:39:51 PM »
Wasn't impressed not because I compared it to Gustav but because I compared it to music. But she may be good enough to be a 'modern' composer!

Sean

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Re: Mahler, not Gustav: ALMA
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2007, 08:59:49 AM »
I've tried her fine orch songs Bei dir ist es traut, Erntelied Die stille Stadt, Licht in der Nacht- she made a fine Mahler sidekick.

What an alluring figure she must have been though...

springrite

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Re: Mahler, not Gustav: ALMA
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2007, 09:03:34 AM »
As a composer Alma is OK, along the line of Fanny Mendelssohn and a notch below Clara Schumann, and miled below the Boulanger sisters. I have a couple of CDs of her songs (did she compose anything else?) and do enjoy listening to them once in a while.


Offline epicous

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Re: Mahler, not Gustav: ALMA
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2015, 02:02:56 PM »
I had not noticed this composer. Let's explore.

Offline Scion7

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Re: Mahler, not Gustav: ALMA
« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2015, 04:56:25 PM »
I've never heard a single composition of hers (and for lack of trying!   :D )

she was a hussie!  beautiful in her day, but I bet living with her was a sore trial
« Last Edit: December 05, 2015, 05:29:31 AM by Scion7 »
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Offline jochanaan

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Re: Mahler, not Gustav: ALMA
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2015, 08:32:03 PM »
In pictures, Alma is tall and statuesque.  I wonder if she herself was a mezzo or an alto?  That would explain why she wrote for mezzo.

I just listened to Die Stille Stadt.  It is a lovely song.  I'm not sure she was quite on the level of her husband, but he did music a disservice when he forbade her to continue composing.  (If she is to be believed--and some scholars suggest that her biography of Gustav is much more accurate than was once believed--he came to realize this.  Late in his life he seems to have looked at her songs from before they were married, and said to her, "What have I done?  These are magnificent!"  Then nothing would do but that they got performed immediately. ;D )
Imagination + discipline = creativity

kishnevi

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Re: Mahler, not Gustav: ALMA
« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2015, 08:53:02 PM »
I've never heard a single composition of hers (and for lack of trying!   :D )

she was a hussie!  beautiful in her day, but I bet living with her was sore trial
To be fair, living with Gustav could something of a sore trial.

Offline zamyrabyrd

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Re: Mahler, not Gustav: ALMA
« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2015, 08:39:02 AM »
...I just listened to Die Stille Stadt.  It is a lovely song.  I'm not sure she was quite on the level of her husband, but he did music a disservice when he forbade her to continue composing.  (If she is to be believed--and some scholars suggest that her biography of Gustav is much more accurate than was once believed--he came to realize this.  Late in his life he seems to have looked at her songs from before they were married, and said to her, "What have I done?  These are magnificent!"  Then nothing would do but that they got performed immediately. ;D )

Indeed, I just heard it for the first time, very nice! Today I was listening to some of Clara Schumann's piano music, her composition output being much larger than Alma's. Considering her having 8 kids, managing the household and playing concerts, she must have been a powerhouse of a woman!

ZB
“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, one by one.”

― Charles MacKay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

Offline jochanaan

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Re: Mahler, not Gustav: ALMA
« Reply #15 on: December 03, 2015, 05:27:44 PM »
Indeed, I just heard it for the first time, very nice! Today I was listening to some of Clara Schumann's piano music, her composition output being much larger than Alma's. Considering her having 8 kids, managing the household and playing concerts, she must have been a powerhouse of a woman!

ZB
I have heard Mme. Schumann's Piano Concerto in A minor, a big, Romantic concerto that seems a little better organized and less rhapsodic than her husband's.  I've also heard a movement of an unfinished concerto in F minor; not quite as good an impression.

I've also heard Fanny Mendelssohn's D minor Trio, Opus 11.  As powerful and lovely as anything by Felix. ;D
Imagination + discipline = creativity

Offline zamyrabyrd

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Re: Mahler, not Gustav: ALMA
« Reply #16 on: December 04, 2015, 03:43:49 AM »
I have heard Mme. Schumann's Piano Concerto in A minor, a big, Romantic concerto that seems a little better organized and less rhapsodic than her husband's.  I've also heard a movement of an unfinished concerto in F minor; not quite as good an impression.

Robert's PC started out as a Fantasy but his wife urged him to make it into a full scale concerto. It does "work" in the end, so I guess she was right.
“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, one by one.”

― Charles MacKay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds