GMG Classical Music Forum

The Music Room => Composer Discussion => Topic started by: Greta on April 21, 2007, 07:06:00 AM

Title: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: Greta on April 21, 2007, 07:06:00 AM
*This thread was originally called Mahler Mania, but the name has been changed to reflect the debate that began and that has become quite involved. Feel free to debate here Mahler's greatness, his connections with other composers, etc. here. It's a productive discussion.

Discussion of the works themselves (their themes, links between them, etc), his style/orchestration, events of his life and how they affected his music should be discussed in his main thread, Mahler Mania, Rebooted (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,683.0.html).

The original post follows unedited.*

Here's a new thread, for the new forum, to discuss the ever-fascinating (and highly addictive) symphonies and lieder of Gustav Mahler.  ;D

With the beginning of this year, I finally took the plunge and dived into Mahler's world, only previously being familiar with the 2nd and the opening Ven-i, ven-i cre-a-tor of the 8th, plus dazzling various snatches heard from radio. I ran across an estate sale in December of a band director who had a large classical collection (spanning the 40s until the present!) so I just kind of ended up with the Solti set and several of the other symphonies individually. I wish I had gotten the Mahler scores but they and some other recordings had gone to friends.

I put off the Mahler journey for a long time, too long, associating his works as being big and difficult listening. But maybe fate had known when I was ready, because though they're both of those things at times, now I find them immediately appealing and fresh, and begging repeated listens to catch the kaleidoscope of scenes flashing past. He was such a creative and unafraid composer - brilliant, full stop.

So I, like many, have fallen in love with his alternate reality - one of triumph, despair, bliss, and angst from minute to minute, exotic vignettes spanning east to west, as he aptly referred to, the whole world in a microcosm. Stunning to listen to, completely transporting, a whirlwind sweeping any preconceived notions out the window. Somehow one of everything (or even many) could never be enough, he had so much to say, and as a result, so do his interpreters. Soon you're salivating over the endless recommendations returned at Amazon, and you've just got to download that Boulez 3rd-Salonen 8th-Dudamel 1st at Operashare, and please-can-I-borrow that Kubelik? By then, write it off, you're a goner. :D

What is it exactly that inspires this kind of passion in his music? I often see cases of Mahleria around, and it always intrigued me, but now, yeah, I completely understand! It's hard to put your finger on the exact cause, but...for example, I'm in the middle of the last movement of the 3rd, and it's just devastating, so achingly gorgeous and painful. When I get to the end of a Mahler symphony, I feel exhausted and exhilarated, it takes all my effort to follow him on the voyage, but boy is it ever so rewarding.

In recent years, it seems Mahler is more popular than ever, I was reading posts at the old board, and there were no less than 7 members with Mahler in their name. 8) It's hip to be a Mahler fan now, his concerts are classical happenings, young conductors are much lauded if they can pull him off, a dearth of new recordings, when did Mahler become the hottest thing since sliced bread? Before the Bernstein era, Mahler wasn't nearly as popular, does he deserve the real credit for this renaissance?

In any case, we're spoiled for choices, recorded or live, and it's wonderful. I only see the Mahler trend growing. I'll post later about which recordings I have heard, but I still haven't taken on the 1st, 6th, 9th, or 10th at all, I tend to digest them in pieces rather slowly, and am currently involved with the 3rd and the 7th (which I adore). Also, I am reluctant for the Solti to be my first hearing for any of the symphonies with what I've read and my own experience. I began with the 5th and the 4th, and had other options, and was disappointed when I heard the Solti, not that it was bad per se as I greatly respect him, but a bit too blaringly obvious.

Postscript: As I've been writing this, I've been listening to a cracking live 3rd by Salonen from a friend, as I'm about to spring for his M3 with LA, but I don't have much information about this radio recording. I think it's surely mislabeled, as it says "London Symphony Orchestra" (don't recall him performing it with them?). It's conducted very much like the LA recording at least in the first movement from clips I've heard, and has some tuning problems and some spectacular brass flubs at the end of the Comodo, if that helps. But the interpretation is grand. I'll upload it sometime.

And as a sidenote, how do you pull this one off in a few days at 25 when you've never conducted it, incredible. Part circus, part tragedy, and so long and demanding. Now that I'm familiar with this work, I'm really in awe about that feat!


 
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: knight66 on April 21, 2007, 09:36:18 AM
Greta, Excellent start to the thread. I don't write many in-depth reviews, but two of them have been Mahler discs. I agree it is addictive and narcotic. Some avoid his music as being hysterical. I recall bounding off the platform after a totally exciting orchestral rehearsal of the Eighth, the boyfriend of one of the other choral singers had been listening from the stalls. He deflated her by going into a tirade about how sick the music is, depressive...etc, etc...we warned her, but she still married him!

Mike
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Brewski on April 21, 2007, 09:50:51 AM
Sometimes I feel like I have to measure my comments on Mahler -- otherwise I would take too much time away from other, equally worthy composers who just happened to write in a different style.  ;D  But I do respond to Mahler's complexity, wrenching emotions, rapid changes of mood, strange juxtapositions, and his brilliantly unusual orchestrations with instrumental combinations no one else at the time was even considering. 

I love all the symphonies for different reasons.  Like many people, the first one I recall hearing was the Second, which just floored me with its scope: when we reached the blazing finale, I couldn't believe we had traveled so far from the first movement -- not to mention the sinister middle Scherzo.  As with many great composers, hearing his music not only gave me pleasure on its own, but changed how I look at music in general. 

--Bruce
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: mahlertitan on April 21, 2007, 11:28:28 AM
yes
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on April 22, 2007, 01:24:51 AM
I think Mahler just isn't for me. I am listening to his third and even Sibelius is better. Calling Mahler's music complex is weird.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on April 22, 2007, 04:40:45 AM
I think Mahler just isn't for me. I am listening to his third and even Sibelius is better. Calling Mahler's music complex is weird.

Wow, way to insult two great masters in one fell scoop !

So you don't think Mahler's music is complex? Let us take the Mahler 3rd that you are listening to. The 1st movement for all it's length is just sonata form expanded. Other composers use them 1, theme 2. For Mahler theme 1 is a musical section, not just a phrase - in this case the dark menacing music punctuated by the bass drum and trombones. Theme 2, or musical section 2, is the light march first heard in the winds. Each time these two sections get repeated more of them is revealed. It is a striking movement.

And how do you not like the Adagio Finale, a magnificently heartfelt 28 minutes of pure joy and beauty.

Obviously you don't understand Sibelius either by your comments.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Haffner on April 22, 2007, 05:13:17 AM
I think Mahler just isn't for me. Calling Mahler's music complex is weird.





Hi db! Try Mahler's 4th, and get ready for the bliss-inducing 4th movement!
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: mahlertitan on April 22, 2007, 06:07:37 AM
I am listening to his third and even Sibelius is better. Calling Mahler's music complex is weird.


People can accuse Mahler of many things, but this is the first time i have heard that his music isn't complex. Listen more of Mahler, especially try the 1,4,5th,9th symphonies. Listen to those thoroughly first, and tell us what you think.

If you have problems getting access to the music, PM me, i could provide you with some very easy links to some quality recordings.

-mt
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on April 22, 2007, 06:16:05 AM
Wow, way to insult two great masters in one fell scoop !

Not at all. I don't want to insult anyone.

So you don't think Mahler's music is complex? Let us take the Mahler 3rd that you are listening to. The 1st movement for all it's length is just sonata form expanded. Other composers use them 1, theme 2. For Mahler theme 1 is a musical section, not just a phrase - in this case the dark menacing music punctuated by the bass drum and trombones. Theme 2, or musical section 2, is the light march first heard in the winds. Each time these two sections get repeated more of them is revealed. It is a striking movement.

Well, I listened Elgar's Marches last night (relatively simple Elgar) and I'd say it's 2-3 times more complex music than Mahler #3. Among other classical composers I find Mahler average in complexity.

The dark menacing part of the first movement has a lot of potential but Mahler does not take it to "the higher level". The result is like listening to a soundtrack of a movie. The light march sounds a bit embarassing.

And how do you not like the Adagio Finale, a magnificently heartfelt 28 minutes of pure joy and beauty.

I did not listen the more than the 1st movement. I'll check the Finale later...

Obviously you don't understand Sibelius either by your comments.

Or maybe I understand "too much" ?

Hi db! Try Mahler's 4th, and get ready for the bliss-inducing 4th movement!

Hi Andy! I tried to listen to 4th but the link didn't work!  :(
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Haffner on April 22, 2007, 06:30:07 AM
Well, I listened Elgar's Marches last night (relatively simple Elgar) and I'd say it's 2-3 times more complex music than Mahler #3.
Hi Andy! I tried to listen to 4th but the link didn't work!  :(


Hi!

Elgar's Marches are of course excellent pieces, despite their relative simplicity (as you stated). I wonder if you'd feel the same way about Mahler if you heard the Bernstein-conducted perfomance of his 9th Symphony.

In regard to the 4th, you would be doing well to grab this work on cd...the Bernstein is the one I started with, and it's great. Here's a cheaper one, the soprano is outstanding:

http://www.amazon.com/Symphony-No-Blumine-Gustav-Mahler/dp/B000E8BKSY/ref=sr_1_3/102-9105012-6193707?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1177255766&sr=1-3
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: The new erato on April 22, 2007, 07:10:16 AM
71 dB, while I certainly admire your enthusiasm,  by your own admission in several threads there are lots of music, even mainstream works, you have not listened to, and a lot of major composers whose works you know onky superficially, so I wish you would be more humble in stating your opinions.

That you don't get a composer doesn't mean that he is less significant, complex (or whatever)  than the composers "you get", only that you, at this moment in time, given your personality and current state of personal development, personal  and listening experience (or lack of it), connects more to him than to other composers. Other people may disagrre with you, but to your dismay, there is a large probability that in ten years time you will disagree with your current self. You would do well to remember this when you post.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: knight66 on April 22, 2007, 07:56:17 AM
Perhaps he is redefining the word, 'complex'. Otherwise the comments seem not to be true.

Mike
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on April 22, 2007, 08:31:24 AM

Hi!

Elgar's Marches are of course excellent pieces, despite their relative simplicity (as you stated). I wonder if you'd feel the same way about Mahler if you heard the Bernstein-conducted perfomance of his 9th Symphony.

In regard to the 4th, you would be doing well to grab this work on cd...the Bernstein is the one I started with, and it's great. Here's a cheaper one, the soprano is outstanding:

http://www.amazon.com/Symphony-No-Blumine-Gustav-Mahler/dp/B000E8BKSY/ref=sr_1_3/102-9105012-6193707?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1177255766&sr=1-3

Thanks for the link/rec. Andy!

71 dB, while I certainly admire your enthusiasm,  by your own admission in several threads there are lots of music, even mainstream works, you have not listened to, and a lot of major composers whose works you know onky superficially, so I wish you would be more humble in stating your opinions.

That you don't get a composer doesn't mean that he is less significant, complex (or whatever)  than the composers "you get", only that you, at this moment in time, given your personality and current state of personal development, personal  and listening experience (or lack of it), connects more to him than to other composers. Other people may disagrre with you, but to your dismay, there is a large probability that in ten years time you will disagree with your current self. You would do well to remember this when you post.

Stupid opinions are allowed only when they are not against general opinions. Canonic pieces can't be criticized, obscure works can. Dittersdorf can be laughed at, Mahler can't.

Sorry, I am a free thinker. I don't live by those rules...

I don't need to know every single work of a composer to evaluate him/her. When I heard Elgar's Enigma Variations I recognised his greatness from it and after ~10 years of enjoying his works I can only thank myself for being right. I have heard samples of Mahler's music and while being nice and pleasing music does not indicate anything really great. If Mahler sounded promising to me I would buy his symphonies but there are tons of more promising composers to explore, Dittersdorf being one of them.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: knight66 on April 22, 2007, 08:37:05 AM
Mahler's music is deeply complex, which does not suggest it is good, but it being complex is a fact. It is the idea that Elgar's marches are more complex that is absurd.

Mike
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on April 22, 2007, 08:41:24 AM
Not sure what "complex" means but my high school band can play Elgar's marches. I doubt most collegiate orchestras can successfully bring off a Mahler work.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on April 22, 2007, 08:43:46 AM
Mahler's music is deeply complex, which does not suggest it is good, but it being complex is a fact. It is the idea that Elgar's marches are more complex that is absurd.

Mike

Some movements/parts of Mahler symphonies may be complex but over 50 % of what I have heard is not complex. In fact the music sounds like it's in sleep and I am screaming please, wake up!

Complexity is not only the amount of notes/bar, it's about how much music you have per one note.

I don't dislike Mahler. It's just easy listening and I get a little bored for it's simplicity and tediousness.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: knight66 on April 22, 2007, 08:49:23 AM
Complexity is not only the amount of notes/bar, it's about how much music you have per one note.

Oh......I see.


ike
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Sergeant Rock on April 22, 2007, 09:43:11 AM
The wit and wisdom of our resident free-thinker, concerning the third-rate, simplistic composer Gustav Mahler:

Calling Mahler's music complex is weird.

I listened Elgar's Marches last night and I'd say it's 2-3 times more complex music than Mahler #3.

I have heard samples of Mahler's music and while being nice and pleasing music does not indicate anything really great.

There are tons of more promising composers to explore, Dittersdorf being one of them.

Complexity is not only the amount of notes/bar, it's about how much music you have per one note.

It's just easy listening and I get a little bored for it's simplicity and tediousness.



Somebody, anybody, please...bitch-slap this guy.

Sarge
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Que on April 22, 2007, 09:48:33 AM
Somebody, anybody, please...bitch-slap this guy.

Sarge

Paging M forever........ ;D

Q
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: BachQ on April 22, 2007, 09:59:59 AM
Well, I listened Elgar's Marches last night (relatively simple Elgar) and I'd say it's 2-3 times more complex music than Mahler #3.

Yep.  Ok.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on April 22, 2007, 10:04:19 AM
This is ludicrous:

There are tons of more promising composers to explore, Dittersdorf being one of them

Now nobody in their right mind will think Dittersdorf, who is a good second-rate composer, at best, is more "promising" than Mahler. I have listened to D's music and even if you play it as background music you are not missing much.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: knight66 on April 22, 2007, 10:12:39 AM
Anyway....segue...Mahler, lets have some insight into his music. Where is DavidW when we need him?

Mike
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: greg on April 22, 2007, 11:11:20 AM
Here's a new thread, for the new forum, to discuss the ever-fascinating (and highly addictive) symphonies and lieder of Gustav Mahler.  ;D

With the beginning of this year, I finally took the plunge and dived into Mahler's world, only previously being familiar with the 2nd and the opening Ven-i, ven-i cre-a-tor of the 8th, plus dazzling various snatches heard from radio. I ran across an estate sale in December of a band director who had a large classical collection (spanning the 40s until the present!) so I just kind of ended up with the Solti set and several of the other symphonies individually. I wish I had gotten the Mahler scores but they and some other recordings had gone to friends.

I put off the Mahler journey for a long time, too long, associating his works as being big and difficult listening. But maybe fate had known when I was ready, because though they're both of those things at times, now I find them immediately appealing and fresh, and begging repeated listens to catch the kaleidoscope of scenes flashing past. He was such a creative and unafraid composer - brilliant, full stop.

So I, like many, have fallen in love with his alternate reality - one of triumph, despair, bliss, and angst from minute to minute, exotic vignettes spanning east to west, as he aptly referred to, the whole world in a microcosm. Stunning to listen to, completely transporting, a whirlwind sweeping any preconceived notions out the window. Somehow one of everything (or even many) could never be enough, he had so much to say, and as a result, so do his interpreters. Soon you're salivating over the endless recommendations returned at Amazon, and you've just got to download that Boulez 3rd-Salonen 8th-Dudamel 1st at Operashare, and please-can-I-borrow that Kubelik? By then, write it off, you're a goner. :D

What is it exactly that inspires this kind of passion in his music? I often see cases of Mahleria around, and it always intrigued me, but now, yeah, I completely understand! It's hard to put your finger on the exact cause, but...for example, I'm in the middle of the last movement of the 3rd, and it's just devastating, so achingly gorgeous and painful. When I get to the end of a Mahler symphony, I feel exhausted and exhilarated, it takes all my effort to follow him on the voyage, but boy is it ever so rewarding.

In recent years, it seems Mahler is more popular than ever, I was reading posts at the old board, and there were no less than 7 members with Mahler in their name. 8) It's hip to be a Mahler fan now, his concerts are classical happenings, young conductors are much lauded if they can pull him off, a dearth of new recordings, when did Mahler become the hottest thing since sliced bread? Before the Bernstein era, Mahler wasn't nearly as popular, does he deserve the real credit for this renaissance?

In any case, we're spoiled for choices, recorded or live, and it's wonderful. I only see the Mahler trend growing. I'll post later about which recordings I have heard, but I still haven't taken on the 1st, 6th, 9th, or 10th at all, I tend to digest them in pieces rather slowly, and am currently involved with the 3rd and the 7th (which I adore). Also, I am reluctant for the Solti to be my first hearing for any of the symphonies with what I've read and my own experience. I began with the 5th and the 4th, and had other options, and was disappointed when I heard the Solti, not that it was bad per se as I greatly respect him, but a bit too blaringly obvious.

Postscript: As I've been writing this, I've been listening to a cracking live 3rd by Salonen from a friend, as I'm about to spring for his M3 with LA, but I don't have much information about this radio recording. I think it's surely mislabeled, as it says "London Symphony Orchestra" (don't recall him performing it with them?). It's conducted very much like the LA recording at least in the first movement from clips I've heard, and has some tuning problems and some spectacular brass flubs at the end of the Comodo, if that helps. But the interpretation is grand. I'll upload it sometime.

And as a sidenote, how do you pull this one off in a few days at 25 when you've never conducted it, incredible. Part circus, part tragedy, and so long and demanding. Now that I'm familiar with this work, I'm really in awe about that feat!


 
you just took the words right out of my mouth  0:)

can you believe it- i actually managed to go without Mahler for a few days, until yesterday i listened to the 8th to follow along with the new score i found online, and then the 10th, before going to sleep.

hahaha Elgar more complex than Mahler..... that's really funny....
i just spent an hour studying a single page of one of Mahler's scores today
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on April 22, 2007, 11:17:38 AM
Bach to Mahler, the 3rd symphony was written in 1896 and has a long adagio finale. Can you think of any other symphonies before this that has an adagio finale. The only one I can think of is Tchaikovsky's 6th and Haydn's Farewell. Bruckner's 9th doesn't count since had he lived he would definitely have composed a 4th movement. And I think SIbelius' 1st was written in 1899.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: greg on April 22, 2007, 11:22:14 AM
now listening: Mahler- Blumine to 1st symphony

why is this strange?
because i've never heard this movement before, and i'm hearing it for the first time on one of his myspace pages  ;D
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: BachQ on April 22, 2007, 11:34:53 AM
Haydn's Farewell

AFAIK, Haydn's Farewell is the first symphony to conclude with an adagio / slow movement . . . . . .
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: greg on April 22, 2007, 11:37:01 AM
AFAIK, Haydn's Farewell is the first symphony to conclude with an adagio / slow movement . . . . . .
no, actually, once Ubloobideega travelled back in time to the year 1650 and wrote his 32nd symphony, of which the last movement was an adagio.

do your studying, jit, don't you know ANYTHING!!!!!????  ::)
sheesh......
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: mahlertitan on April 22, 2007, 12:38:06 PM
Some movements/parts of Mahler symphonies may be complex but over 50 % of what I have heard is not complex. In fact the music sounds like it's in sleep and I am screaming please, wake up!

Complexity is not only the amount of notes/bar, it's about how much music you have per one note.

I don't dislike Mahler. It's just easy listening and I get a little bored for it's simplicity and tediousness.

i am speechless, i hope that you will EVENTUALLY (some time in your life) realize how stupid you just sounded.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Greta on April 22, 2007, 03:29:44 PM
Shame on 71db for hijacking the Mahler thread...  It's okay if you don't like Mahler's music, but don't down it. This is an appreciation thread. ;)  You know, I also love Elgar, he's one of my favorites, but he and Mahler's music are so very different. But Elgar's music, his symphonies, can be very complex, he has subtle layers that take many listening to reveal themselves.

Quote
Sometimes I feel like I have to measure my comments on Mahler -- otherwise I would take too much time away from other, equally worthy composers who just happened to write in a different style. :D But I do respond to Mahler's complexity, wrenching emotions, rapid changes of mood, strange juxtapositions, and his brilliantly unusual orchestrations with instrumental combinations no one else at the time was even considering.

Perfectly put, Bruce! When I listen to Mahler, I get sucked in, I'm riveted to his constant twists and turns and end up rewinding over and over to catch the ideas flying past. He rarely lets the listener rest, you're always on your toes. His orchestrations are fascinating, I think his conducting certainly had an influence on knowing how to use the orchestra to maximum effect. Very colorful and uncoventional, the mandolin in the 7th, gotta love it. He was really an innovator, I love the way he plays with tonality. Slipping in and out of major and minor, sometimes within the same phrase.

So I listened to the 7th earlier, which is one of my favorites of Mahler so far. The 3rd and 7th are my current loves. The Bernstein/Vienna recording is raw and exciting, though maybe too brash at times. But it's exotic and a thrilling ride. It's a new arrival and will take some digesting. The brass playing is really stunning, in the 1st mvmt ending for example. I also have Chailly/Concertgebouw and it's really very nice. The sound is amazing, and he brings out Mahler's quirky orchestration techniques to the fullest, like the col legnos at the beginning of Mvmt II are heard very clearly. A lovely lyrical sweep to the string playing and the brass are full and resonant yet controlled, technically outstanding.  But, sometimes he's too precious.

I have a funny story about the 7th, I was listening to classical radio online one night, to a new releases show on Harvard radio, and tuned in the midst of a really nice piece (the 7th was unknown to me then). A gorgeous lyrical melody, then suddenly a swashbuckling, heroic statement, then a drunken moment, then back to the beautiful melody, all in the space of a few minutes. I was baffled, who could this be? Sometimes it sounded Russian, sometimes like a German romantic, even an Englishman (opening of Finale of 7th), it was like all the best parts of my favorite composers rolled up into one. I thought, my it's quite schizophrenic, but what fun. Such great themes. I was so curious, who was it? But the length finally tipped me, and wait...schizophrenic...it has to be Mahler! And I knew what symphony by process of elimination, the 7th, claimed to be his most odd. But, I didn't find it hard or strange to listen to, I was hanging on every note, excited to see what was around the bend. Once I knew the piece, then I was dying to find out the recording, and I must admit Mahler is such a tease, in the end we keep waiting for him to wind it up, but each time, it's "Ha! Gotcha", and we're off again for another round, before coming to the final awe-inspiring brass chorale, cowbells and all. Whew! So the recording was the new Tilson Thomas with San Francisco, and I liked it a lot. I may get that soon.

The performances I have so far:

Set - Solti/CSO
1st - no others yet
2nd - Ozawa/Boston
3rd - Abbado/Vienna/DG, Bernstein/NYPO/DG, Salonen/? from radio
4th - Dohnanyi/Cleveland
5th - Levi/Atlanta
6th - no others yet
7th - Chailly/Concertgebouw, Bernstein/Vienna
8th - Haitink/Concertgebouw (live 1971 Holland Festival, radio) (Actually I like the Solti 8th)
9th - Karajan/Berlin/DG (live)
10th - Rattle/Berlin (Cooke III)
Kindertotenlieder, Ruckertlieder - Christa Ludwig, Karajan/Berlin (the 2nd CD of his 9th, the 1st CD was missing! It was used)
DLvdE - Bernstein/Vienna

Of these I haven't listened yet to the Bernstein 3rd, the Karajan live 9th, and the Rattle 10th.

Here's the thread from the old board on recommendations for the symphonies:
Favorite CD Performances Mahler Symphonies 1-9 (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,10245.45.html)

I'm just now listening to the Abbado/Vienna/DG 3rd, the 1st Mvmt.  :o Truly spectacular, my god, the sound and the playing are amazing. Terrifying in fact. Such clarity and fine balance, dramatic as hell, but also sensitive and lingering when called for. Just a sublime performance. I think the finest Mahler recording I have had the pleasure to hear thus far. Eh, too bad I'm only borrowing it! (Hey, in the 1st mvmt, the (Allegro Moderato), that horn soli, does it remind anyone else of Shosty's 5th? :D)

71db - You need to hear this Mahler 3rd, if you're interested just let me know. This music isn't only awake, but under Abbado I swear it could wake the dead. If you listen to it, and don't like it, hey, that's cool, but you should give it a try.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on April 22, 2007, 03:57:34 PM
Shame on 71db for hijacking the Mahler thread...  It's okay if you don't like Mahler's music, but don't down it. This is an appreciation thread. ;)  You know, I also love Elgar, he's one of my favorites, but he and Mahler's music are so very different. But Elgar's music, his symphonies, can be very complex, he has subtle layers that take many listening to reveal themselves.

71db - You need to hear this Mahler 3rd, if you're interested just let me know. This music isn't only awake, but under Abbado I swear it could wake the dead. If you listen to it, and don't like it, hey, that's cool, but you should give it a try.

Sorry Greta, I didn't mean to hijack this thread. Things always escalate because my free thinker opinions are too much for so many.

I have listened today 1st and 9th. The latter was better. I have also listened the first movement of 3rd. Of course I give it a try now that I can!
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: mahlertitan on April 22, 2007, 04:19:09 PM
Sorry Greta, I didn't mean to hijack this thread. Things always escalate because my free thinker opinions are too much for so many.

I have listened today 1st and 9th. The latter was better. I have also listened the first movement of 3rd. Of course I give it a try now that I can!

yeah, the point is, you don't go to a thread to criticize the composer, you come and try to learn something, or share something positive. I don't go to your Elgar thread and belittle him, even though i think he is one of the lesser important composers.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Cato on April 22, 2007, 04:40:14 PM
Concerning "Greta's" comments on the Seventh Symphony:

I recall reading years ago that Mahler acolyte Bruno Walter refused to conduct the Seventh because he thought it was a "weak" symphony.  Perhaps the episodic nature of the Rondo, or the "Nachtmusik" sections put him off. 

The Seventh Symphony is really a fun work which hides its more serious side(s): one thinks of Bruckner's Sixth Symphony as a parallel.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: mahlertitan on April 22, 2007, 05:03:44 PM
Concerning "Greta's" comments on the Seventh Symphony:

I recall reading years ago that Mahler acolyte Bruno Walter refused to conduct the Seventh because he thought it was a "weak" symphony.  Perhaps the episodic nature of the Rondo, or the "Nachtmusik" sections put him off. 

The Seventh Symphony is really a fun work which hides its more serious side(s): one thinks of Bruckner's Sixth Symphony as a parallel.

perhaps it was a "weak" symphony, but i thought the second movement "Naughtmusick I" is simply brilliant. I only listen to the second movement nowadays.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Cato on April 22, 2007, 05:17:17 PM
perhaps it was a "weak" symphony, but i thought the second movement "Naughtmusick I" is simply brilliant. I only listen to the second movement nowadays.

Give the Boulez recording a chance: maybe you will listen to the entire work again.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: mahlertitan on April 22, 2007, 07:08:12 PM
Give the Boulez recording a chance: maybe you will listen to the entire work again.

on the contrary, i loved the 7th. However, i got tired of listening to mahler's symphonies, so i am going to listen to something else for a while.

recently:
- found a copy of Bizet's unfinished "Roma" symphony, absolutely love it.
- found a copy of Robert Fuchs's first symphony, absolutely adore it.
- start to listen to Wagner's overtures, admire it very much.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on April 22, 2007, 08:21:09 PM

Things always escalate because my free thinker opinions are too much for so many.

Is there such a thing as counterproductive free thinking?






Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on April 23, 2007, 12:40:28 AM
yeah, the point is, you don't go to a thread to criticize the composer, you come and try to learn something, or share something positive. I don't go to your Elgar thread and belittle him, even though i think he is one of the lesser important composers.

A composer of Mahler's status can take a lot of critic without harm. I didn't belittle Mahler. I said I find his music of average complexity among classical composers. Mahler's greatness is obviously in the genius understanding of what masses want to hear. No wonder his music is deeply loved by many. His music has a hooking quality but I'd be lying if I said it's the most sophisticated orchestral music I have heard.

I am learning all the time thanks to your links and help MT!

Is there such a thing as counterproductive free thinking?

Good question! I suppose all things can be counterproductive in evil hands.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Grazioso on April 23, 2007, 02:45:02 AM
greatness from it and after ~10 years of enjoying his works I can only thank myself for being right. I have heard samples of Mahler's music and while being nice and pleasing music does not indicate anything really great. If Mahler sounded promising to me I would buy his symphonies but there are tons of more promising composers to explore, Dittersdorf being one of them.

I think that's the problem in a nutshell: you've heard samples and proceed to judge from that. It's one thing to hear a sample or a single symphony and decide not to investigate further, another thing entirely to issue statements about the complexity or worth of a composer's work when you've never carefully listened to and studied it. Try listening to all Mahler's major works multiple times and study the scores or read some guides, and then formulate an opinion. You sell yourself and the music short by leaping to judgment.

As someone who's been listening to Mahler for over a decade, I can only say that it's emotionally and intellectually rich music, rife with memorable melodies and marked by the craftsmanship of a master. I'm glad I put the effort into getting to know it.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Haffner on April 23, 2007, 03:25:21 AM
The wit and wisdom of our resident free-thinker, concerning the third-rate, simplistic composer Gustav Mahler:

Calling Mahler's music complex is weird.

I listened Elgar's Marches last night and I'd say it's 2-3 times more complex music than Mahler #3.

I have heard samples of Mahler's music and while being nice and pleasing music does not indicate anything really great.

There are tons of more promising composers to explore, Dittersdorf being one of them.

Complexity is not only the amount of notes/bar, it's about how much music you have per one note.

It's just easy listening and I get a little bored for it's simplicity and tediousness.



Somebody, anybody, please...bitch-slap this guy.

Sarge




Sarge, I completely sympathize with your pique. But 71 seems like a good person, and I personally have made the same type of knee jerk reactions to certain works as he.



Hell, it was only about 6 months ago that I was having one hell of a time "getting" Beethoven's 3rd. I went on this forum complaining about its lack of melody ( :o ::)), its overall inaccessibility, etc ( ::) ::)). I think I commited a far worse form of knee-jerk error overall.


But all of you kind folks on the board were so patient...I just feel that 71 deserves the same treatment.


Believe me, I know how irritating it can be when a member tends to publicly proclaim his or her seeming dismissiveness. But we are all overall more charitable than this. Let's just point 71 toward the great Mahler recordings, so at least he'll have the oppurtunity to make a more informed opinion.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Haffner on April 23, 2007, 03:30:54 AM
no, actually, once Ubloobideega travelled back in time to the year 1650 and wrote his 32nd symphony, of which the last movement was an adagio.

do your studying, jit, don't you know ANYTHING!!!!!????  ::)
sheesh......



Greg, I'm hoping you're being lighthearted here, as you overall don't seem to be an unkind person. If D didn't know that (I certainly didn't, and am grateful for your pointing it out!), it's alot easier to kindly correct him. I think all of us (well, practically all) on this particular forum are well past the "enmity-mongering" tendency of most other forums.


Please understand that I respect you and your posts, I mean no condescension whatsoever here.


And thanks again for the history!
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Cato on April 23, 2007, 05:13:00 AM
When composer Alexander Tcherepnin (and his wife) occasionally wrote to me and answered my queries, his main advice was extremely simple: expand your ears by listening to more and different kinds of music.

And that meant listening to the complete effort of a composer.

Judging Mahler or any composer considered "great" by history through excerpts is inadequate.  Certainly if you came across a composer whom history has snubbed or forgotten, you might in fact want to listen to a complete work or two to see if "history" is correct.

Consider e.g. the Bach Revival in the early decades of the 1800's!  Or Mahler's music itself in Limbo (a term now disputed by the Pope himself) until the 1960's and the invention of the stereo LP.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Don on April 23, 2007, 05:20:45 AM
71dB:

I think that much of your low opinion of Mahler and a few other composers is based on lack of intimacy with their music.  As an example, how many total hours of Mahler have you heard in recent years?
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: mahlertitan on April 23, 2007, 05:23:09 AM
Mahler's greatness is obviously in the genius understanding of what masses want to hear. .


not true, when his symphonies first premiered, no one like it. In fact, Mahler's music was largely unknown in his time, he was mostly known a s a conductor. If he wanted to do what "masses want to hear" he would've written Waltzes and Polkas or Operettas. 
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: knight66 on April 23, 2007, 06:20:36 AM
He did parody 'The Merry Widow Waltz' in his seventh Symphony. I seem to recall that the premier of his 8th Symphony was an extraordinary success.

I see nothing wrong with people coming onto a composer named thread and arguing against that composer, it makes those who like the music think more carefully in order to explain what they get out of it.

But 71db will have gathered that I find his criticism difficult to take seriously.

Mike
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Charles on April 23, 2007, 06:48:25 AM
'Mahler Mania' !  :o   For sure, I love Mahler's music so much I purposely force myself to stay away from it! It is very addictive for me. Great great music, very moving and profound to me. Some like to call it bombast and all that but that to me is just snobbery in the name of 'taste' which I personally find distasteful.  From my viewpoint Mahler couldn't help a note he created. He was bursting with feeling, I mean just listen to the music! It's all there. Again, some may describe it as hysterical but just think about the times when it was composed, Mahler's life and you might forgive the man. I need no apologies, only that it takes me away from other great music I need to devote some time to!

Charles
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Brewski on April 23, 2007, 07:06:07 AM
'Mahler Mania' !  :o   For sure, I love Mahler's music so much I purposely force myself to stay away from it! It is very addictive for me. Great great music, very moving and profound to me. Some like to call it bombast and all that but that to me is just snobbery in the name of 'taste' which I personally find distasteful.  From my viewpoint Mahler couldn't help a note he created. He was bursting with feeling, I mean just listen to the music! It's all there. Again, some may describe it as hysterical but just think about the times when it was composed, Mahler's life and you might forgive the man. I need no apologies, only that it takes me away from other great music I need to devote some time to!

Charles

Mahler is all of the things you mentioned above, often happening simultaneously.  That's why listening to him is such an adventure.  (But I'm with you: "All Mahler and no Saariaho makes Jack a dull boy."  ;D)

--Bruce 
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: knight66 on April 23, 2007, 07:09:59 AM
"All Mahler and no Saariaho makes Jack a dull boy."  ;D)

--Bruce 

Not half as dull as all Saariaho and no Mahler. That would be a terminal condition. D

Mike
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Brewski on April 23, 2007, 07:13:08 AM
Not half as dull as all Saariaho and no Mahler. That would be a terminal condition. D

Mike

I'm going to report you to a moderator...oh, wait...I mean... ;D

--Bruce
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Charles on April 23, 2007, 07:46:09 AM
Mahler is all of the things you mentioned above, often happening simultaneously.  That's why listening to him is such an adventure.  (But I'm with you: "All Mahler and no Saariaho makes Jack a dull boy."  ;D)

--Bruce 

Bruce, allow me to highlight in friendship one of your words on Mahler. Mahler can never be boring because the music is so rich, I always hear something new in the score.

Charles
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: knight66 on April 23, 2007, 07:56:06 AM
Mahler's music, to me, means that I am setting out on a journey. A rich journey through physical and emotional landscapes. His love of nature shines through and like so many artists, what happens in his life feeds his composition.

For a part time composer, (he could only compose during holidays from conducting,) he has had an enormous impact. Very much part of his time, he keys in with the explorations that Freud was making on psychology and Freud in part helps us to find language to understand how Mahler unlocked his life for us all to hear.

Mike
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on April 23, 2007, 10:31:44 AM
71dB:

I think that much of your low opinion of Mahler and a few other composers is based on lack of intimacy with their music.  As an example, how many total hours of Mahler have you heard in recent years?

Well, who is interested of intimacy with music that sounds less promising?

I have probably heard 5 hours of Mahler's music. How much do I need to keep Mahler in high esteem?
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: mahlertitan on April 23, 2007, 10:51:30 AM
How much do I need to keep Mahler in high esteem?

for me, it's matter of minutes, how can you not find anything special in the beginning of his 1st symphony, the 9th, and the 5th?
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: knight66 on April 23, 2007, 10:55:25 AM
Indeed, the opening 10 minutes of the 9th is like being punched in the stomach.

Mike
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: from the new world on April 23, 2007, 12:31:58 PM
I have probably heard 5 hours of Mahler's music. How much do I need to keep Mahler in high esteem?

You might need to spend 5 hours just listening to one of Mahler's shortest movements in order to fully appreciate it. Consider the opening movement of the 5th, where I played through all the recordings I have (25 x 15 mins = 6.25 hours) with score in hand and I am still trying to understand the various thematic connections and all the various structural aspects that exist. Since reading an essay by Donald Mitchell that features mainly on the form and content of the second trio, I will have to look again to understand a few details that I had not noticed before.

I was wondering whether there might not be a confusion between complexity and transparency, and that the idea of Mahler's music not being very complex, is more like saying that Mahler is not hiding, or over orchestrating his music, so that it is more approachable and transparent. I certainly would not describe the Elgar symphonies as transparent!
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: stingo on April 23, 2007, 12:53:16 PM
Two works of Mahler's leap to mind as fascinating and great music. I happened to be present when members of the Philadelphia Orchestra (with Maestro Eschenbach at the piano) recorded the sole surviving movement (if I remember correctly) of Mahler's Piano Quintet. The performance is coupled with a great reading of M6 by the full orchestra with Eschenbach at the helm.

From the Ruckert lieder, we have Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen. Heard this in concert in Philadelphia (unfortunately I can't remember who conducted), but the soloist was Branford Marsalis on soprano sax. It will be a LONG time before I hear anything so profoundly beautiful again. It was longing made aural, with Marsalis' rich and velvety tone rippling out into the hall, compelling all present to join in with heart and mind and soul. If it ever came out on CD I'd buy it in a heartbeat, but even so, I know the experience won't be the same as it was that night.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on April 23, 2007, 12:55:50 PM
for me, it's matter of minutes, how can you not find anything special in the beginning of his 1st symphony, the 9th, and the 5th?

It's a matter of minutes for me too. It's not about finding the goodies, it's about having higher preferencies. Compared to Elgar's symphonies few symphonies sound that special to my ears. But as I have said there is nothing wrong with Mahler's symphonies.

You might need to spend 5 hours just listening to one of Mahler's shortest movements in order to fully appreciate it. Consider the opening movement of the 5th, where I played through all the recordings I have (25 x 15 mins = 6.25 hours) with score in hand and I am still trying to understand the various thematic connections and all the various structural aspects that exist. Since reading an essay by Donald Mitchell that features mainly on the form and content of the second trio, I will have to look again to understand a few details that I had not noticed before.

That's analysing music rather than listening to it.

I was wondering whether there might not be a confusion between complexity and transparency, and that the idea of Mahler's music not being very complex, is more like saying that Mahler is not hiding, or over orchestrating his music, so that it is more approachable and transparent. I certainly would not describe the Elgar symphonies as transparent!

Whatever the definitons are I prefer Elgar's way.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: MishaK on April 23, 2007, 01:05:25 PM
That's analysing music rather than listening to it.

And that's somehow mutually exclusive?
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on April 23, 2007, 07:11:42 PM
I suppose all things can be counterproductive in evil hands.


Evil...

And there's that little thing called vanity, too.



Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Greta on April 23, 2007, 10:24:11 PM
I was watching video clips online of Bernstein and Rattle conducting Mahler and was wondering what's out there as far as DVD's of concerts of Mahler symphonies? (Especially the 3rd, 5th and 7th.)

I'm also starting to order the Dover edition scores, to get any deeper understanding I know I must go deep into the nuts and bolts of what's musically going on. Some works you can get to know well without a score, but with Mahler, he's so episodic, I'm often at sea with how things relate to each other.

The 3rd is simply fascinating. I was listening today to the Rattle/CBSO recording and realized how "British" the March of Summer in the 1st movement sounds, pure bombast. Rattle plays this Englishness up well, his 3rd was a pleasant surprise, really very good.

It helps a lot to fully read Mahler's programs and keep them in mind when listening, in some of his works the program is crucial to understanding the whys behind what you're hearing, like for example, what a flag-waving march could possibly be doing making an appearance in a symphony. ;)

In this way, he has similar ideas to that of a symphonic poem - for example Richard Strauss's Don Quixote, which uses detailed program notes to explain almost inexplicable switches in style and mood. Also, I wonder if Mahler's vast operatic experience had influence here, with his characteristic of scoring in "scenes".

Here's a top-notch Mahler resource from Andante, written by Mahler scholar Henry-Louis Le Grange, with histories, prorgams, and analysis for all the symphonies. Including a filmography (I'd love to see the Russell Mahler film!) and a huge searchable discography database. Interesting, the 8th is listed as his least recorded with 40 results (cost for the amount of players?) and the 1st, 4th, and 5th are his most, with no exact numbers because each is over 100.

Gustav Mahler at Andante.com (http://www.andante.com/profiles/Mahler/mahlerintro.cfm)
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on April 24, 2007, 01:03:15 AM
Okay, I listened Mahler 7 last night. 9th is my favorite so far but I keep exploring.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Grazioso on April 24, 2007, 02:52:19 AM
71 dB, you should remember that this is classical music, high art that deserves full attention and engagement by the listener in the same way great literature or painting does its readers or viewers. Of course, one can listen to music as background noise or just skim the surface for the emotional kicks, but classical music offers much more than that if you're willing to dig into it. A couple hours with a major composer are not enough to make any realistic judgment as to worth or complexity. That's like watching one performance of Hamlet and making pronouncements about Shakespeare.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Sergeant Rock on April 24, 2007, 02:56:54 AM
Sarge, I completely sympathize with your pique. But 71 seems like a good person, and I personally have made the same type of knee jerk reactions to certain works as he.
Hell, it was only about 6 months ago that I was having one hell of a time "getting" Beethoven's 3rd. I went on this forum complaining about its lack of melody ( :o ::)), its overall inaccessibility, etc ( ::) ::)). I think I commited a far worse form of knee-jerk error overall.
But all of you kind folks on the board were so patient...I just feel that 71 deserves the same treatment.
Believe me, I know how irritating it can be when a member tends to publicly proclaim his or her seeming dismissiveness. But we are all overall more charitable than this. Let's just point 71 toward the great Mahler recordings, so at least he'll have the oppurtunity to make a more informed opinion.

Andy, I'm not going to waste any more space on this thread discussing dB. I've PMd a reply.

Sarge
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on April 24, 2007, 03:16:21 AM
71 dB, you should remember that this is classical music, high art that deserves full attention and engagement by the listener in the same way great literature or painting does its readers or viewers. Of course, one can listen to music as background noise or just skim the surface for the emotional kicks, but classical music offers much more than that if you're willing to dig into it. A couple hours with a major composer are not enough to make any realistic judgment as to worth or complexity. That's like watching one performance of Hamlet and making pronouncements about Shakespeare.

Why do you think I am not giving Mahler my full attention? What did I say to make you think I listen to it as background noise?

The fact that Mahler hasn't blown me away does not mean I am a newbie in classical music. On the contrary, it is a sign of criticality.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Valentino on April 24, 2007, 03:32:16 AM
Started reading this thead in hope of learning something. The only thing I've learned thus far is that I shall contine my traversal through his symphonies, and get proper recordings of his orchestral songs.

So where do I go for his third symphony? (I have Bernstein on DG in #1 and CBSO/Rattle in #2.)
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Cato on April 24, 2007, 04:44:52 AM
Started reading this thead in hope of learning something. The only thing I've learned thus far is that I shall contine my traversal through his symphonies, and get proper recordings of his orchestral songs.

So where do I go for his third symphony? (I have Bernstein on DG in #1 and CBSO/Rattle in #2.)

"All we are aaaaskiiiing,
Is give BOULEZ a chaaaance!"

On DGG.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Harry on April 24, 2007, 04:47:47 AM
Again I have to clean my keyboard, so I have to switch to the laptop for a while!
 ;D ;D
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Haffner on April 24, 2007, 05:21:03 AM
Okay, I listened Mahler 7 last night. 9th is my favorite so far but I keep exploring.





The 9th is my favorite too, but don't miss out on the 4th!
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Haffner on April 24, 2007, 05:22:33 AM
Andy, I'm not going to waste any more space on this thread discussing dB. I've PMd a reply.

Sarge



Got it, and I'm very grateful for the explanation, Sarge.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on April 24, 2007, 05:36:44 AM
The 9th is my favorite too, but don't miss out on the 4th!

The 4th won't be missed.  ;) Perhaps I listen to it next...
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Haffner on April 24, 2007, 05:43:00 AM
The 4th won't be missed.  ;) Perhaps I listen to it next...




I remain blown away by Mahler's choice of instrumentation/orchetration in that one. I'll bet Shostakovich had heard performances or read scores of Mahler's 4th before penning his 5th Symphony (which of course also features amazing orchestration).
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on April 24, 2007, 05:46:13 AM
I remain blown away by Mahler's choice of instrumentation/orchetration in that one. I'll bet Shostakovich had heard performances or read scores of Mahler's 4th before penning his 5th Symphony (which of course also features amazing orchestration).

Thanks Andy, I'll pay extra attention to orchestration then.  ;)
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Sergeant Rock on April 24, 2007, 05:55:12 AM
So where do I go for his third symphony? (I have Bernstein on DG in #1 and CBSO/Rattle in #2.)

The Third has been lucky on record. I doubt I would object to any version anyone would recommend here. You can't go wrong with MTT, Chailly, Bernstein, Abbado, Boulez, Haitink...the old Horenstein too has much going for it. They all have their passionate advocates. My favorite is OOP or I'd mention that one too. Heather has been spending a lot of time with the Third. I'd be interested in hearing which version she liked best.

By the way, I like your systematic approach to Mahler.

Sarge
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Haffner on April 24, 2007, 06:01:31 AM
The Third has been lucky on record. I doubt I would object to any version anyone would recommend here. You can't go wrong with MTT, Chailly, Bernstein, Abbado, Boulez, Haitink...the old Horenstein too has much going for it. They all have their passionate advocates. My favorite is OOP or I'd mention that one too. Heather has been spending a lot of time with the Third. I'd be interested in hearing which version she liked best.

By the way, I like your systematic approach to Mahler.

Sarge


Haven't heard the Horenstein, but I have the Bernstein set, and I don't think one could do too wrong just grabbing the Bernstein (that is, if one isn't quite the collector we are, Sarge!).


Sometimes the Bernstein set isn't completely satisfactory recording wise. But I really have grown to adore the performances, especially the 8th and 9th...fantastic and emotion provoking.

Just my opinion!
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Haffner on April 24, 2007, 06:11:22 AM
Thanks Andy, I'll pay extra attention to orchestration then.  ;)




Listening to your symphony now, it certainly sounds like you know quite a bit about orchestration! I'm enjoying the 4th movement now.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on April 24, 2007, 06:16:27 AM

Listening to your symphony now, it certainly sounds like you know quite a bit about orchestration! I'm enjoying the 4th movement now.

Wow! I am so taken you like my symphony! In fact I have always felt my low movement sounds a bit Mahlerian...  ;D

I like Mahler's use of brass instruments and harp! The use of wood instruments is good too.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Haffner on April 24, 2007, 06:19:58 AM
Wow! I am so taken you like my symphony! In fact I have always felt my low movement sounds a bit Mahlerian...  ;D



Maybe a little. But I like best that you have your own thing going in this symphony, your influences don't show that much. A good thing, in my humble opinion.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: karlhenning on April 24, 2007, 06:21:21 AM
"All we are aaaaskiiiing,
Is give BOULEZ a chaaaance!"

I'm even going to give the Erato disc with Phyllis Bryn-Julson singing Pli selon pli another chance!  Testify, brother!
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on April 24, 2007, 06:23:43 AM
Maybe a little. But I like best that you have your own thing going in this symphony, your influences don't show that much. A good thing, in my humble opinion.

Thank you Andy! My influences come from several music genres and I try to use them on high abstract level. Anyway, I don't mind if people recognise the influences.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on April 24, 2007, 07:52:09 AM
Thank you Andy! My influences come from several music genres and I try to use them on high abstract level. Anyway, I don't mind if people recognise the influences.

You write music?
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on April 24, 2007, 08:10:50 AM
You write music?

Well, I would not say I write it but I have made music with computer almost 15 years.
Andy was talking about my 2nd symphony (2003) which can be downloaded here (http://koti.welho.com/pantsalo/mymusic.htm).
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Harry on April 24, 2007, 08:13:02 AM
Well, I would not say I write it but I have made music with computer almost 15 years.
Andy was talking about my 2nd symphony (2003) which can be downloaded here (http://koti.welho.com/pantsalo/mymusic.htm).

Which I did some time ago, and forgot to tell you how much I liked it. ::)
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on April 24, 2007, 08:18:33 AM
Which I did some time ago, and forgot to tell you how much I liked it. ::)

Not a problem Harry! It's not easy to give feedback in this kind off situation. I am proud of that symphony but hey, I haven't studied composing a bit and my knowlegde of music theory is limited to the rudiments. I just have music in my head and I do what I can and what sounds good to me.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on April 24, 2007, 08:19:15 AM
Well, I would not say I write it but I have made music with computer almost 15 years.
Andy was talking about my 2nd symphony (2003) which can be downloaded here (http://koti.welho.com/pantsalo/mymusic.htm).

Sounds like a mixed between New Age, Copland, and Pettersson ;)
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on April 24, 2007, 08:22:45 AM
Sounds like a mixed between New Age, Copland, and Pettersson ;)

Yes, I think some new age is there. Some parts may sound Coplandian. Pettersson's music I haven't heard unfortunately.  :-\
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Haffner on April 24, 2007, 08:25:43 AM
Sounds like a mixed between New Age, Copland, and Pettersson ;)



I'd say there's definitely a compliment there, PerfectWagnerite :)!


71db has a very interesting, at times strikingly inventive, approach to orchestration. He often asserts instrumental colours with the kind of ingenuity that seems especially promising.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: mahlertitan on April 24, 2007, 08:26:09 AM
I hope you have changed your opinion on mahler, atleast somewhat. I don't think i gave you his 8th symphony and Das Lied, those are his choral works and i think you should be familiarized with his instrumental works first.

Oh, btw do you know that mahler composed a little nice piano quartet for chamber instruments and piano?
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on April 24, 2007, 08:42:38 AM


I'd say there's definitely a compliment there, PerfectWagnerite :)!


71db has a very interesting, at times strikingly inventive, approach to orchestration. He often asserts instrumental colours with the kind of ingenuity that seems especially promising.

I think that's because I haven't studied orchestration. I have a model in my head how orchestral sounds can be used and I make music accordingly. Computers can play anything you program them to do but I doubt a real orchestra could perform my music without huge problems.

Your words are most kind Andy! I never expected such feedback from anyone.

I hope you have changed your opinion on mahler, atleast somewhat. I don't think i gave you his 8th symphony and Das Lied, those are his choral works and i think you should be familiarized with his instrumental works first.

Oh, btw do you know that mahler composed a little nice piano quartet for chamber instruments and piano?

That's a work in progress MT! I will keep listening to the Mahler symphonies and I change my opinion if necessory. I have never think Mahler a bad composer, it's just that I don't see his music as unsurpassable as many do.

Mahler's Piano Quartet is interesting but unfortunately I have never heard it. I like chamber music with piano.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: knight66 on April 24, 2007, 09:31:44 AM

 I have never think Mahler a bad composer, it's just that I don't see his music as unsurpassable as many do.


You are moving the goal posts. What people here have been calling you on is the absolute statements you made to the effect that Mahler's music is not very complex, Elgar's marches are more complex. Even if Mahler were a failed composer, it is evident and factual....his music is highly complex, certainly more so than what you compared it to. I am not sure anyone on the thread has claimed Mahler is unsurpassable, but a number of us have taken issue with the complexity comments....which you repeated.

Mike
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: karlhenning on April 24, 2007, 09:34:56 AM
Well, I would not say I write it but I have made music with computer almost 15 years.
Andy was talking about my 2nd symphony (2003) which can be downloaded here (http://koti.welho.com/pantsalo/mymusic.htm).

Thanks for the link, 71 dB.  Will listen later.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: greg on April 24, 2007, 09:42:01 AM
You are moving the goal posts. What people here have been calling you on is the absolute statements you made to the effect that Mahler's music is not very complex, Elgar's marches are more complex. Even if Mahler were a failed composer, it is evident and factual....his music is highly complex, certainly more so than what you compared it to. I am not sure anyone on the thread has claimed Mahler is unsurpassable, but a number of us have taken issue with the complexity comments....which you repeated.

Mike
so what was it by Mahler he said wasn't complex?
i can see what he means, somewhat, with much of the 1st symphony, but besides that most of it is really complex, especially if you look at the score (or even if you pay attention to how many different lines are playing at the same time)
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: knight66 on April 24, 2007, 09:43:18 AM
It is earlier in the thread. It would take me the same time to find it as it would for you to find it.

Mike
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: greg on April 24, 2007, 09:46:54 AM
he's talking about Mahler 3  :o
that guy needs to go buy another pack of q-tips
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on April 24, 2007, 09:48:47 AM
You are moving the goal posts. What people here have been calling you on is the absolute statements you made to the effect that Mahler's music is not very complex, Elgar's marches are more complex. Even if Mahler were a failed composer, it is evident and factual....his music is highly complex, certainly more so than what you compared it to. I am not sure anyone on the thread has claimed Mahler is unsurpassable, but a number of us have taken issue with the complexity comments....which you repeated.

Mike

I learn something new on this forum every single day.
Today I know at least one opinion that somehow an Elgar March is more complex than Mahler's 3rd symphony.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on April 24, 2007, 10:09:58 AM
Elgar's music is extremely complex, even his marches. The most complex 6 minutes of any given Mahler symphony may be more complex than a 6 minutes march by Elgar but the average complexity is lower. Mahler has long sections of really simple music while Elgar's marches are full of "action" from the beginning to the end. The average complexity of long works is low. Same with Elgar's oratorios. The most simple passages are simple but the most complex parts are "out of this world".

Never underestimate Elgar. He is an unbelievable composer. It's not a shame to be second to him!

Thanks for the link, 71 dB.  Will listen later.

Thank you Karl for your interest!  ;)
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: greg on April 24, 2007, 10:11:57 AM
Elgar's music is extremely complex, even his marches. The most complex 6 minutes of any given Mahler symphony may be more complex than a 6 minutes march by Elgar but the average complexity is lower. Mahler has long sections of really simple music while Elgar's marches are full of "action" from the beginning to the end. The average complexity of long works is low. Same with Elgar's oratorios. The most simple passages are simple but the most complex parts are "out of this world".

Never underestimate Elgar. He is an unbelievable composer. It's not a shame to be second to him!

Thank you Karl for your interest!  ;)
so you have both Mahler and Elgar scores to compare them?
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on April 24, 2007, 10:20:46 AM
so you have both Mahler and Elgar scores to compare them?

I don't have any scores. A score is a projectional representation of the music and gives a simplified picture of Elgar's multidimensional music. I compare what I hear.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: greg on April 24, 2007, 10:22:01 AM
I don't have any scores. A score is a projectional representation of the music and gives a simplified picture of Elgar's multidimensional music. I compare what I hear.
then you're talking about a completely different sense of complexity than what we're talking about
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: mahlertitan on April 24, 2007, 10:25:44 AM
I don't have any scores. A score is a projectional representation of the music and gives a simplified picture of Elgar's multidimensional music. I compare what I hear.

 ???

so you are saying you have a better way to analyze music than analyzing the score?
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: knight66 on April 24, 2007, 10:34:00 AM
I am sorry, I ought not to have started this again....there is much to discuss without getting bogged down in the complex/not complex canard.

Mike
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on April 24, 2007, 10:38:01 AM
???

so you are saying you have a better way to analyze music than analyzing the score?

Analyzing the score may tell irrelevant things while what is heard is always relevant.
A score with infinite complexity is worthless if it sounds bad.

Analysing a score must be clever as the number of notes per bar does not equal complexity. One has to see how much musical information is "coded" in to the score. One note for flute may seem simple but the change in the timbre, harmonic tension, rhythm, etc. may have tons of musical relevance if the composer is a genius.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: knight66 on April 24, 2007, 10:40:31 AM
And those changes in the timbre, harmonic tension, rhythm, etc....may well be written into the score, if not then they are interpretation and listening only will not therefore tell you what the composer wrote and intended.

Mike
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: BachQ on April 24, 2007, 10:44:33 AM
Analyzing the score may tell irrelevant things while what is heard is always relevant.
A score with infinite complexity is worthless if it sounds bad.

Analysing a score must be clever as the number of notes per bar does not equal complexity. One has to see how much musical information is "coded" in to the score. One note for flute may seem simple but the change in the timbre, harmonic tension, rhythm, etc. may have tons of musical relevance if the composer is a genius.

Let there be no doubt: You have a very bright future as an instructor of music theory . . . . . . .
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on April 24, 2007, 10:56:26 AM
And those changes in the timbre, harmonic tension, rhythm, etc....may well be written into the score, if not then they are interpretation and listening only will not therefore tell you what the composer wrote and intended.

Mike

Of course but in a compressed "projected" format. All abstract musical dimensions are coded with ink on white paper. It is a known fact that many Elgar's themes sound less promising when played on piano but sound wonderful with orchestra. One of Elgar's genius is the ability to write music for orchestra even if the thematic material is created with a piano/violin or/and in the head.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: MishaK on April 24, 2007, 10:57:41 AM
Analyzing the score may tell irrelevant things while what is heard is always relevant.
A score with infinite complexity is worthless if it sounds bad.

But only from looking at the score can you tell whether what you hear is what the score says or just the incompetence of the performers.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on April 24, 2007, 11:01:30 AM
But only from looking at the score can you tell whether what you hear is what the score says or just the incompetence of the performers.

A good score makes things happen. A good conductor understands the "hidden" dimensions and tries to make the players bring them alive.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Que on April 24, 2007, 11:06:34 AM
I have the funny feeling this thread is NOT about Mahler.... 8)

Q
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: karlhenning on April 24, 2007, 11:08:56 AM
Of course but in a compressed "projected" format. All abstract musical dimensions are coded with ink on white paper.

Fascinating.

Quote
It is a known fact that many Elgar's themes sound less promising when played on piano but sound wonderful with orchestra.

So for which did he write the music on white paper with ink? Piano or orchestra?

I have the funny feeling this thread is NOT about Mahler.... 8)

Q

Hey, but maybe Gustav's themes sound less promising when played on piano, too!?
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: jwinter on April 24, 2007, 11:40:48 AM
???

so you are saying you have a better way to analyze music than analyzing the score?

I can't side with 71db on the whole Mahler vs Elgar thing.  But, speaking as someone who can't read music, and presumably not as the only such person here, I feel compelled to point out that I think it's perfectly possible to analyze music structurally based entirely on what you hear, and opinions on "complexity" shouldn't be dismissed out-of-hand solely based on that criteria. 

Can music be analyzed aurally as easily or as thoroughly as by following a score?  Nope.  I'll grant that score-reading is superior in that regard.  That said, alternative methods of musical analysis are also valid, as 71db is trying to demonstrate.  I can't speak for his musical ideas, but for myself, I can easily hear and enjoy the interplay between the melodic lines of a violin and piano in a violin sonata, and with a bit more effort I can follow the voices in a string quartet, and with a lot more effort I can hear them (well, many of them anyway) in Mahler's complex orchestration.  Likewise I can usually hear how those voices harmonize, how the music develops and moves from key to key, etc. -- that's precisely the type of complexity we're talking about, isn't it?  I may not be able to articulate what I'm hearing as clearly as a literate musician can, but that doesn't mean that my ears are plugged up, or that they aren't connected to a half-way intelligent brain.

Sorry, just felt the need to point that out.  Please feel free to pile back on 71db now -- anybody who posts that Mahler's 3rd symphony is simplistic deserves some good-natured abuse.  ;D
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: karlhenning on April 24, 2007, 11:42:44 AM
That's all fine, jwinter;  and partly because you refrain from such peculiar statements as, that the score is supposedly burdened with irrelevancies  8)
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: mahlertitan on April 24, 2007, 11:45:37 AM
I can't side with 71db on the whole Mahler vs Elgar thing.  But, speaking as someone who can't read music, and presumably not as the only such person here, I feel compelled to point out that I think it's perfectly possible to analyze music structurally based entirely on what you hear, and opinions on "complexity" shouldn't be dismissed out-of-hand solely based on that criteria. 

Can music be analyzed aurally as easily or as thoroughly as by following a score?  Nope.  I'll grant that score-reading is superior in that regard.  That said, alternative methods of musical analysis are also valid, as 71db is trying to demonstrate.  I can't speak for his musical ideas, but for myself, I can easily hear and enjoy the interplay between the melodic lines of a violin and piano in a violin sonata, and with a bit more effort I can follow the voices in a string quartet, and with a lot more effort I can hear them (well, many of them anyway) in Mahler's complex orchestration.  Likewise I can usually hear how those voices harmonize, how the music develops and moves from key to key, etc. -- that's precisely the type of complexity we're talking about, isn't it?  I may not be able to articulate what I'm hearing as clearly as a literate musician can, but that doesn't mean that my ears are plugged up, or that they aren't connected to a half-way intelligent brain.

Sorry, just felt the need to point that out.  Please feel free to pile back on 71db now -- anybody who posts that Mahler's 3rd symphony is simplistic deserves some good-natured abuse.  ;D


the reason we analyze the score is because our natural aural perception is exetremely limited. Analyzing score gives a quantitative approach in understanding the workings of the music.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: MishaK on April 24, 2007, 11:51:44 AM
A good score makes things happen. A good conductor understands the "hidden" dimensions and tries to make the players bring them alive.

How do you know you are hearing a bad score and not a bad conductor?
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Don on April 24, 2007, 11:52:56 AM
How do you know you are hearing a bad score and not a bad conductor?

By hearing other conductors perform the same score.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: karlhenning on April 24, 2007, 11:57:05 AM
By hearing other conductors perform the same score.

What of cases where even generally good conductors make a bad job of a good score?
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Valentino on April 24, 2007, 12:15:31 PM
I think I like Boulez' conducting (and his engineers) because he makes me believe I hear the score (Still saving up for his Mahler 3. Pretty expensive I think).
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on April 24, 2007, 12:27:36 PM

the reason we analyze the score is because our natural aural perception is exetremely limited. Analyzing score gives a quantitative approach in understanding the workings of the music.

I don't know about your aural perception but mine isn't that limited. I have been listening to complex music (classical/electronic) for about 20 years. Be it complex rhythm, harmony or counterpoint I can take it. In order to understand music more complex than Mahler one has to train his/her ears with music more complex than Mahler.

How do you know you are hearing a bad score and not a bad conductor?

From the type of the musical problems. In a bad score the next note is badly chosen. A bad conductor makes the violinists play it too loud or quiet. At least my brain has musical calculation power to deduct these things.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: MishaK on April 24, 2007, 12:50:15 PM
From the type of the musical problems. In a bad score the next note is badly chosen. A bad conductor makes the violinists play it too loud or quiet. At least my brain has musical calculation power to deduct these things.

What if "the next note" is a matter of interpreting polyphonic voicing correctly? What if the mood or atmosphere elicited by the conductor is something entirely different than what the composer meant, thus making what would have been a "good choice of next note" a "bad" one?
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on April 24, 2007, 01:33:43 PM
What if "the next note" is a matter of interpreting polyphonic voicing correctly? What if the mood or atmosphere elicited by the conductor is something entirely different than what the composer meant, thus making what would have been a "good choice of next note" a "bad" one?

In that case the conductor is an idiot.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: MishaK on April 24, 2007, 01:34:15 PM
In that case the conductor is an idiot.

No doubt, but how would you be able to tell?
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Steve on April 24, 2007, 02:11:49 PM
No doubt, but how would you be able to tell?

By chatting up the composer..  ;D
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Sergeant Rock on April 24, 2007, 02:23:33 PM

Haven't heard the Horenstein, but I have the Bernstein set, and I don't think one could do too wrong just grabbing the Bernstein (that is, if one isn't quite the collector we are, Sarge!).


Sometimes the Bernstein set isn't completely satisfactory recording wise. But I really have grown to adore the performances, especially the 8th and 9th...fantastic and emotion provoking.

Just my opinion!

Are we talking about the DG set, Andy? The finale of the Second disappoints me (the peroration just too damn slow; it fails to lift off the ground as it should). The Fourth is ruined by that boy brat soprano...I really hate it. The other symphonies I like, especially 1, 5, 6 and 9. The Eighth I don't have (I didn't buy the box; I bought each symphony as it was released and somehow missed that one).

Sarge
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: DavidW on April 24, 2007, 04:56:37 PM
Are we talking about the DG set, Andy? The finale of the Second disappoints me (the peroration just too damn slow; it fails to lift off the ground as it should). The Fourth is ruined by that boy brat soprano...I really hate it. The other symphonies I like, especially 1, 5, 6 and 9. The Eighth I don't have (I didn't buy the box; I bought each symphony as it was released and somehow missed that one).

Sarge

I think that 3, 5 and 6 in the set are staggeringly great.  The ninth is pretty darn good, but I like Chailly with the same orchestra slightly more than that particular Bernstein recording.  Have you heard Chailly's Ninth Sarge?  What did you think of it, if you have?
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Sergeant Rock on April 25, 2007, 02:36:56 AM
I think that 3, 5 and 6 in the set are staggeringly great.  The ninth is pretty darn good, but I like Chailly with the same orchestra slightly more than that particular Bernstein recording.  Have you heard Chailly's Ninth Sarge?  What did you think of it, if you have?

Like the Bernstein set, I collected Chailly's Mahler as they were released individually, only missing the Fifth somehow (which I finally found a few years later in the shop at the Gewandhaus in Leipzig. On the old board I talked about my trials and tribulations tracking this still in print disc down; it was weird...the online companies kept promising it and failing to deliver). The First and Second I never bothered to buy because of lackluster reviews. I'm still under the impression they are the weak links in the Chailly set...or am I wrong?

Anyway, with each new release my admiration grew. As a set I consider it unbeatable, not least for the superb sonics and the playing of the Concertgebouw. As I've grown older I've come to appreciate Chailly's more objective approach to Mahler interpretation but find it still more emotional...often devastatingly emotional...compared to say Boulez's dissection of the music or Kubelik's "Mahler light".

About the Ninth...yes, a great performance and recording, staggeringly great actually, one of my favorites along with Klemperer (love his stoicism) and Karajan (achingly beautiful). The Concertgebouw have a long Mahler tradition and I think you can hear that in this symphony: the woodwind are not afraid to make the rude sound; the percussion have real impact. Chailly's interpretation just seems right; never over-the-top like Bernstein but just as deeply disturbing in implication.

I've acquired the Bertini set fairly recently and my first, and only hearing so far, makes me think his may be one of the great Ninths too. I'm looking forward to hearing Barenboim. O mensch gave it a thumbs up. My fanboy enthusiasm for this conductor and his east Berlin band was confirmed two weeks ago when I heard them play the Fifth and Seventh, along with Boulez conducting the Eighth.

Sarge
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Haffner on April 25, 2007, 03:43:44 AM
Are we talking about the DG set, Andy? The finale of the Second disappoints me (the peroration just too damn slow; it fails to lift off the ground as it should). The Fourth is ruined by that boy brat soprano...I really hate it. The other symphonies I like, especially 1, 5, 6 and 9. The Eighth I don't have (I didn't buy the box; I bought each symphony as it was released and somehow missed that one).

Sarge




I hear your problems with the DG second and fourth, there are better. But, Sarge, if you don't have the DG Bernstein 8th, please get it! You will not regret it.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Sergeant Rock on April 25, 2007, 03:55:52 AM
I hear your problems with the DG second and fourth, there are better. But, Sarge, if you don't have the DG Bernstein 8th, please get it! You will not regret it.

Okay, Andy, I'll check it out. I wonder, though, if it's available right now outside the set? Will investigate.

Sarge
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Haffner on April 25, 2007, 05:12:30 AM
Okay, Andy, I'll check it out. I wonder, though, if it's available right now outside the set? Will investigate.

Sarge




It's excellent. Of course, the Karajan is great as well.


Link:

http://www.amazon.com/Mahler-Symphony-No-9-Gustav/dp/B00000C298/ref=sr_1_4/102-6219080-1355337?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1177510264&sr=1-4
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Sergeant Rock on April 25, 2007, 05:43:22 AM



It's excellent. Of course, the Karajan is great as well.


Link:

http://www.amazon.com/Mahler-Symphony-No-9-Gustav/dp/B00000C298/ref=sr_1_4/102-6219080-1355337?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1177510264&sr=1-4


The link is for Bernstein's Sony 9th. I thought we were talking about the DG 8th. Now I'm confused ;D

I'll tell you what I have and then you tell me what you're recommending: I have the Sony 8th and 9th and the DG 9th but don't own the DG 8th. Over to you  :)

Sarge
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Brewski on April 25, 2007, 05:50:22 AM
The First and Second I never bothered to buy because of lackluster reviews. I'm still under the impression they are the weak links in the Chailly set...or am I wrong?

I think Chailly's First is one of the highlights of his cycle, comparable to the Fifth in impact and sound quality.  The "nature scenes" are particularly effective, thanks to the superb Concertgebouw woodwinds.  And Chailly does the final movement incredibly well.  Plus, the original disc has a very interesting orchestration of Berg's Piano Sonata by Theo Verbey, well worth hearing. 

Full disclosure about my thoughts on his Second: I heard Chailly and the orchestra do it live three times, in Amsterdam, New York and Philadelphia (just a bit of good luck  ;)), so the CD brings back some sweet memories.  It may not be the strongest in the set, but I think it's still excellent; if some of the others rate a "10" this one might be an "8" (just to try to quantify).  Although the sound is very good, over time I have decided it is not absolutely at the top of the heap, compared to some of the others in the cycle.  (And let's face it: there are now many, many fine recordings of this symphony.)

--Bruce
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Haffner on April 25, 2007, 05:50:56 AM

The link is for Bernstein's Sony 9th. I thought we were talking about the DG 8th. Now I'm confused ;D

I'll tell you what I have and then you tell me what you're recommending: I have the Sony 8th and 9th and the DG 9th but don't own the DG 8th. Over to you  :)

Sarge




OOOOPS! So sorry, Sarge! Am mentally doing push-ups in penance.


http://www.amazon.com/Mahler-Symphony-No-9-Gustav/dp/B000001G7G/ref=sr_1_2/102-6219080-1355337?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1177512551&sr=1-2
 (http://www.amazon.com/Mahler-Symphony-No-9-Gustav/dp/B000001G7G/ref=sr_1_2/102-6219080-1355337?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1177512551&sr=1-2)
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Sergeant Rock on April 25, 2007, 05:57:52 AM
I think Chailly's First is one of the highlights of his cycle, comparable to the Fifth in impact and sound quality.  The "nature scenes" are particularly effective, thanks to the superb Concertgebouw woodwinds.  And Chailly does the final movement incredibly well.  Plus, the original disc has a very interesting orchestration of Berg's Piano Sonata by Theo Verbey, well worth hearing. 

Full disclosure about my thoughts on his Second: I heard Chailly and the orchestra do it live three times, in Amsterdam, New York and Philadelphia (just a bit of good luck  ;)), so the CD brings back some sweet memories.  It may not be the strongest in the set, but I think it's still excellent; if some of the others rate a "10" this one might be an "8" (just to try to quantify).  Although the sound is very good, over time I have decided it is not absolutely at the top of the heap, compared to some of the others in the cycle.  (And let's face it: there are now many, many fine recordings of this symphony.)

--Bruce

Thanks for your input, Bruce.  Perhaps I shouldn't have overlooked the First afterall. On the wishlist it goes.

Sarge
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Brewski on April 25, 2007, 06:04:58 AM
Thanks for your input, Bruce.  Perhaps I shouldn't have overlooked the First afterall. On the wishlist it goes.

Sarge

Sure thing!  PS, IIRC, I think the First came relatively early in the cycle, and around that time people seemed to be skeptical of Chailly in general, perhaps from some of those who weren't ready for Haitink's replacement.  (Frankly, I like both conductors.)  Chailly brought a rather different focus, repertoire and energy, but clearly some people thought he was "messing" with the sound of the orchestra.  (Perhaps due to all that "modern music" he was encouraging... ;D)

--Bruce
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: DavidW on April 25, 2007, 08:35:37 AM
Anyway, with each new release my admiration grew. As a set I consider it unbeatable, not least for the superb sonics and the playing of the Concertgebouw. As I've grown older I've come to appreciate Chailly's more objective approach to Mahler interpretation but find it still more emotional...often devastatingly emotional...compared to say Boulez's dissection of the music or Kubelik's "Mahler light".

About the Ninth...yes, a great performance and recording, staggeringly great actually, one of my favorites along with Klemperer (love his stoicism) and Karajan (achingly beautiful). The Concertgebouw have a long Mahler tradition and I think you can hear that in this symphony: the woodwind are not afraid to make the rude sound; the percussion have real impact. Chailly's interpretation just seems right; never over-the-top like Bernstein but just as deeply disturbing in implication.

I've acquired the Bertini set fairly recently and my first, and only hearing so far, makes me think his may be one of the great Ninths too. I'm looking forward to hearing Barenboim. O mensch gave it a thumbs up. My fanboy enthusiasm for this conductor and his east Berlin band was confirmed two weeks ago when I heard them play the Fifth and Seventh, along with Boulez conducting the Eighth.

Sarge

Sarge, I think I'm with you here.  Chailly seemed too cold, analytic to me at first but I warmed up to him, and realized that he brought passion to Mahler.  Boulez and Kubelik do sound lighter in comparison, kind of like a Haydn-like treatment of Mahler.  Sometimes I'm in the mood for that, sometimes not.  I've only heard Boulez in a couple of the symphonies, but I've heard Kubelik in all of them.

That reminds me of what happened a few months back-- Karl and I were in the Borders in Providence when this guy (who was eavesdropping) came up to us and was ranting about the Boulez Mahler cycle and how he was out of a job.  Just totally crazy.  Karl took it in stride, being a city slicker, I'm sure it's routine for him. ;D

Perhaps that's why Karl thinks that Mahlerites might be a little odd. ;D  Has anyone else met unusual Mahlerites? ;D
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Sergeant Rock on April 25, 2007, 09:32:55 AM
Perhaps that's why Karl thinks that Mahlerites might be a little odd. ;D  Has anyone else met unusual Mahlerites? ;D

You mean other than the ones on this forum?  ;D

Sarge
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: DavidW on April 25, 2007, 10:08:18 AM
You mean other than the ones on this forum?  ;D

Sarge

 :D :D
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on April 26, 2007, 12:03:33 PM
I am listening to Mahler #2 while writing this. All the symphonies I have heard so far (1, 4, 7 & 9) have been nice music but surprisingly they haven't contained even one bar that blows me away. I continue listening to the symphonies but I still can't include Mahler among the greatest symphonists.

Mahler's trademark is to keep things simple. I constantly feel he does not take the music anywhere. Also, all movements sound alike. I don't know another composer whose fast and slow movements sound so similar. Mahler is also hooking and pleasing.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Valentino on April 26, 2007, 12:09:45 PM
Yeah, I love that.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: DavidW on April 26, 2007, 12:24:52 PM
Mahler's trademark is to keep things simple. I constantly feel he does not take the music anywhere. Also, all movements sound alike. I don't know another composer whose fast and slow movements sound so similar. Mahler is also hooking and pleasing.

Given that many of Mahler's symphonies are nearly an hour and a half long with each movement containing several themes... I don't think that saying that Mahler keeps things simple is apt.

There is such an immense gulf between the fast and slow movements in the 2nd and 5th symphonies that I have to disagree with them sounding so similar.  It's hard for me to imagine how anyone could miss that sharp contrast!

I know you haven't listened to the 2nd and 5th yet, but there is alot of variability in the 9th.  Try it some more, it might grow on you Elgar.  If not, well life's too short to dwell on it. :)
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Brewski on April 26, 2007, 12:29:42 PM
I am listening to Mahler #2 while writing this. All the symphonies I have heard so far (1, 4, 7 & 9) have been nice music but surprisingly they haven't contained even one bar that blows me away. I continue listening to the symphonies but I still can't include Mahler among the greatest symphonists.

Well then (sincerely, without sarcasm) I'd just go on to other composers, truly.  Despite the tons of Mahler fans around here, no need to dwell on "trying to like" his music; there are far too many other composers who could use your advocacy, and would welcome it (the living ones, that is).  ;)

--Bruce
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on April 26, 2007, 12:30:28 PM
Given that many of Mahler's symphonies are nearly an hour and a half long with each movement containing several themes... I don't think that saying that Mahler keeps things simple is apt.

Well, if the symphonies were half their length the themes would overlap 2 times more => complexity.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: DavidW on April 26, 2007, 12:45:09 PM
Well, if the symphonies were half their length the themes would overlap 2 times more => complexity.

Totally do it Webern style. ;D  Mahler's symphonies are already complex enough, if they were any denser I don't think that I would enjoy them.  But then again I don't have modern ears.

What do y'all think, do you want Mahler to be denser?
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on April 26, 2007, 12:52:23 PM
Totally do it Webern style. ;D  Mahler's symphonies are already complex enough, if they were any denser I don't think that I would enjoy them.  But then again I don't have modern ears.

What do y'all think, do you want Mahler to be denser?

Based on what I have heard so far I'd like Mahler 4 times denser. 
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: MishaK on April 26, 2007, 01:02:46 PM
Based on what I have heard so far I'd like Mahler 4 times denser. 

I do have to wonder what you were listening for and what you were actually hearing and processing. BTW, are you familiar with Mahler's song cycles? I would highly recommend you listen to the Wunderhorn songs, especially des heiligen Antonius zu Padua Fischpredigt before you pass judgment on the Resurrection. Even Brahms (who declined to consider Mahler's das klagende Lied as a composition competition submission when he was on the jury) thought that the scherzo of the Resurrection was a work of genius. It is based on the aforementioned song. Berio recycled it in some of his works.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: mahlertitan on April 26, 2007, 02:36:23 PM
I am listening to Mahler #2 while writing this. All the symphonies I have heard so far (1, 4, 7 & 9) have been nice music but surprisingly they haven't contained even one bar that blows me away. I continue listening to the symphonies but I still can't include Mahler among the greatest symphonists.

Mahler's trademark is to keep things simple. I constantly feel he does not take the music anywhere. Also, all movements sound alike. I don't know another composer whose fast and slow movements sound so similar. Mahler is also hooking and pleasing.

 ??? whatever, as long as you like it.

btw, Mahler's music grows on you, sometimes it doesn't immediately impress you, but you will come back for more in the future.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: stingo on April 26, 2007, 04:26:58 PM
??? whatever, as long as you like it.

btw, Mahler's music grows on you, sometimes it doesn't immediately impress you, but you will come back for more in the future.

Mein Zeit wird kommen... :)
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: mahlertitan on April 26, 2007, 06:35:35 PM
Mein Zeit wird kommen... :)

should've come sooner.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: greg on April 27, 2007, 06:40:49 AM
btw, Mahler's music grows on you, sometimes it doesn't immediately impress you, but you will come back for more in the future.
couldn't be more true.....
when i first heard my favorite piece of music of all time, Mahler's 9th, for the first time, all I remember thinking was that it "had a nice sound to it." But once you get to know it better, it'll definetely grow on you.... though usually you can tell by the first time you listen exactly how much it possibly can grow on you.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on April 27, 2007, 06:47:22 AM
I do have to wonder what you were listening for and what you were actually hearing and processing. BTW, are you familiar with Mahler's song cycles? I would highly recommend you listen to the Wunderhorn songs, especially des heiligen Antonius zu Padua Fischpredigt before you pass judgment on the Resurrection. Even Brahms (who declined to consider Mahler's das klagende Lied as a composition competition submission when he was on the jury) thought that the scherzo of the Resurrection was a work of genius. It is based on the aforementioned song. Berio recycled it in some of his works.

Unfortunately I am not familiar with the songs.

??? whatever, as long as you like it.

btw, Mahler's music grows on you, sometimes it doesn't immediately impress you, but you will come back for more in the future.

That's why I keep listening...
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on April 27, 2007, 06:57:42 AM
Unfortunately I am not familiar with the songs.

That's why I keep listening...

Did you say you think Mahler's fast and slow movements sound similar ???
How does the second and third movments of the 4th symphony sound in any remote way similar?
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: greg on April 27, 2007, 07:08:03 AM
Did you say you think Mahler's fast and slow movements sound similar ???
How does the second and third movments of the 4th symphony sound in any remote way similar?
if he keeps on listening, he'll become more familiar and be able to tell the difference
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: rubio on April 27, 2007, 01:02:53 PM
Based on what I have heard so far I'd like Mahler 4 times denser. 

So which recordings are you listening to? If you want emotional and more dense Mahler you should go for Bernstein's DG set. On the other side (tight, clear, sometimes slightly analytical) you'll find e.g. Boulez (at least for many of the symphonies). Different interpretations play a very important role for this composer.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Sergeant Rock on April 27, 2007, 01:04:05 PM
Well, if the symphonies were half their length the themes would overlap 2 times more => complexity.

Does anyone know what dB is talking about?

If the symphonies were half as long the themes would overlap twice as much which would mean less complexity.

Uh?

Sarge
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Sergeant Rock on April 27, 2007, 01:13:08 PM
if he keeps on listening, he'll become more familiar and be able to tell the difference

Quite frankly, if dB can't hear the radical differences between the five movements of the Second or Seventh, on first hearing, he's not really listening or paying attention. His comments so far have been so bizzare, I'm beginning to wonder if he's actually heard any Mahler yet. For the life of me, I can't understand how Mahler's contrapuntal complexity has eluded dB. Why can't he hear it? Mahler's orchestration is so beautifully transparent most of the time.

Sarge
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: BachQ on April 27, 2007, 01:19:20 PM
Does anyone know what dB is talking about?

If the symphonies were half as long the themes would overlap twice as much which would mean less complexity.

Uh?

Sarge

No.  It would increase the complexity by a factor of four (22).

It's really frustrating that you cannot see this, Sarge . . . . . .   :D
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Sergeant Rock on April 27, 2007, 01:23:12 PM
No.  It would increase the complexity by a factor of four (22).

It's really frustrating that you cannot see this, Sarge . . . . . .   :D


It is frustrating. If I only had a brain that could think freely, I might be able to understand dB.

Sarge
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Haffner on April 27, 2007, 01:27:29 PM
It is frustrating. If I only had a brain that could think freely, I might be able to understand dB.

Sarge




Maybe if I stopped listening to Mahler, I'd understand. (Andy looks over and sees the Karajan DG 9th) naaaahhhhhhh
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on April 27, 2007, 01:35:37 PM
Did you say you think Mahler's fast and slow movements sound similar ???
How does the second and third movments of the 4th symphony sound in any remote way similar?

Yes. The tempo of Mahler's slow movememts aren't that slow and he doesn't seem to have really fast movements. Also, the weighting of musical dimensions remain almost constant. Other composers weight usually melody in slow moments and rhythm in fast movements.

Of course, the movements are not similar (identical) but the difference is smaller than with other composers. Mahler's musical style is rigid and he works within narrow frame.

if he keeps on listening, he'll become more familiar and be able to tell the difference

Possible.

So which recordings are you listening to? If you want emotional and more dense Mahler you should go for Bernstein's DG set. On the other side (tight, clear, sometimes slightly analytical) you'll find e.g. Boulez (at least for many of the symphonies). Different interpretations play a very important role for this composer.

I have been streaming from Naxos server thanks to the links I got from MT. The 2nd symphony is conducted by Mariss Jansons.

Does anyone know what dB is talking about?

If the symphonies were half as long the themes would overlap twice as much which would mean less complexity.

Uh?

Sarge

I don't share your logic. Overlaping means complexity for me. The more things happens simultanuosly the more complex it is. That's the idea of counterpoint. Unfortunately Mahler does not show mastery in it.

Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: MishaK on April 27, 2007, 01:40:38 PM
Yes. The tempo of Mahler's slow movememts aren't that slow and he doesn't seem to have really fast movements. Also, the weighting of musical dimensions remain almost constant. Other composers weight usually melody in slow moments and rhythm in fast movements.

Of course, the movements are not similar (identical) but the difference is smaller than with other composers. Mahler's musical style is rigid and he works within narrow frame.

What on earth are you talking about? How can the comparatively petite 4th be of the same musical dimensions as the massive 8th or the oddly proportioned 3d with those short vocal movements and the over half-hour-long final adagio? Fast movements aren't fast, slow movements aren't slow? Have you heard the 5th? You seem to have odd concepts of what other composers do, as well.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: greg on April 27, 2007, 02:09:39 PM
Yes. The tempo of Mahler's slow movememts aren't that slow and he doesn't seem to have really fast movements. Also, the weighting of musical dimensions remain almost constant. Other composers weight usually melody in slow moments and rhythm in fast movements.

Of course, the movements are not similar (identical) but the difference is smaller than with other composers. Mahler's musical style is rigid and he works within narrow frame.

Possible.

I have been streaming from Naxos server thanks to the links I got from MT. The 2nd symphony is conducted by Mariss Jansons.

I don't share your logic. Overlaping means complexity for me. The more things happens simultanuosly the more complex it is. That's the idea of counterpoint. Unfortunately Mahler does not show mastery in it.


wow.... are you deaf?

especially that last part.... have you listened to any of his final movements? like the 5th or 6th, tons of counterpoint, very much like a fugue.

i just finished listening to that last movement of the 6th (while following along with the score), definetely complex and a prelude to modernism, being atonal in some sections. Not only that, there is no recap of the very beginning, except at the very end- calling him rigid is the most ridiculous thing you could possibly call him- it's so episodic, it can be hard to follow (at least with that movement, for me it is)
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Sergeant Rock on April 27, 2007, 02:10:20 PM
I don't share your logic. Overlaping means complexity for me. The more things happens simultanuosly the more complex it is. That's the idea of counterpoint. Unfortunately Mahler does not show mastery in it.

That's why I'm questioning your hearing, dB. You claim you can't hear the contrapuntal complexity and yet that's a hallmark of Mahler's music...and it's so easy to hear all those overlapping strands because of Mahler's wonderful transparency. Despite the huge orchestral forces, he's rarely dense, rarely opaque. What kind of sound system do you have? Could that be the problem?

Sarge
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: MishaK on April 27, 2007, 02:12:42 PM
What kind of sound system do you have? Could that be the problem?

He's covered his speakers with a solid 5-inch thick case of felt, so that everything sound like Elgar.  ;D
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Sergeant Rock on April 27, 2007, 02:14:58 PM
I have been streaming from Naxos server thanks to the links I got from MT. The 2nd symphony is conducted by Mariss Jansons.

So you're listening through your computer? Headphones? Speakers?...Felt?  ;D

Sarge
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on April 27, 2007, 02:36:51 PM
Sound system is not a problem. I am an acoustics engineer. My system is relatively cheap but of very high quality. Anyway, I have listened Mahler with Sennheiser HD-580.

I haven't listened #5 # 6 yet. I look forward to hear all the counterpoint you are talking about.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: greg on April 27, 2007, 02:52:34 PM

I haven't listened #5 # 6 yet. I look forward to hear all the counterpoint you are talking about.
there you go, that oughta change your mind about the counterpoint, at least  ;D
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on April 27, 2007, 02:55:48 PM
Sound system is not a problem. I am an acoustics engineer. My system is relatively cheap but of very high quality. Anyway, I have listened Mahler with Sennheiser HD-580.

I haven't listened #5 # 6 yet. I look forward to hear all the counterpoint you are talking about.

But you have heard the 9th. The first movement is counterpoint personified.  Like O Mensch said, Mahler's MASTERY of his art is such that even though there is a lot going on it never sounds BUSY.

And what kind of sound quality is from the Naxos streaming anyway? You may have good headphones but if the source sucks it doesn't do you any good.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on April 27, 2007, 03:25:22 PM
But you have heard the 9th. The first movement is counterpoint personified.  Like O Mensch said, Mahler's MASTERY of his art is such that even though there is a lot going on it never sounds BUSY.

Yeah, it seems to be like that.

And what kind of sound quality is from the Naxos streaming anyway? You may have good headphones but if the source sucks it doesn't do you any good.

128 kbps. Not High-End but good enough to explore Mahler's art
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on April 27, 2007, 04:18:39 PM
Yeah, it seems to be like that.


Also, even though the orchestra employed by Mahler is huge, his scoring is very light. You may notice that there is very little doubling of different voices. So when Mahler is loud, it is not because everyone is playing the same thing but rather each instrumental group is playing different material, but the tone color is different enough so all voices are heard. This is quite different from composers like Elgar and Brahms and Schumann where they LOVE to double the voices to achieve a richer, more blended sort of sound. You just have to get used to it.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: DavidW on April 28, 2007, 04:08:29 AM
Yes. The tempo of Mahler's slow movememts aren't that slow and he doesn't seem to have really fast movements.

I've noticed alot of variability in tempo from conductor to conductor.  I wonder if Mahler was general and vague on the matter of tempo.  Maybe what you want are some recordings that really contrast the fast and slow movements well! :)  Alright Mahlerites, what recordings do you think fit that bill?


Quote
I have been streaming from Naxos server thanks to the links I got from MT. The 2nd symphony is conducted by Mariss Jansons.

Well that's neat.  If I have time I'll wander through Naxos' site later today to hear some Buxtehude.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: greg on April 28, 2007, 04:23:56 AM
I've noticed alot of variability in tempo from conductor to conductor.  I wonder if Mahler was general and vague on the matter of tempo.  Maybe what you want are some recordings that really contrast the fast and slow movements well! :)  Alright Mahlerites, what recordings do you think fit that bill?
i'm not very familiar with multiple recordings much at all, but I can say, at least for the 6th, it'd be better to go with Karajan than Boulez- although I do like how Boulez takes the opening movement slower.

Quote
Also, even though the orchestra employed by Mahler is huge, his scoring is very light. You may notice that there is very little doubling of different voices. So when Mahler is loud, it is not because everyone is playing the same thing but rather each instrumental group is playing different material, but the tone color is different enough so all voices are heard. This is quite different from composers like Elgar and Brahms and Schumann where they LOVE to double the voices to achieve a richer, more blended sort of sound. You just have to get used to it.
Yeah, and also, there's less doubling at the octave when lots of instruments are playing, which makes the whole sound less muddy. So those two things combined help a lot, and you can usually hear every instrument playing, although in tutti ff passages, the harp and celesta can still be totally lost, but it seems lots of other composers make the same mistake.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: knight66 on April 28, 2007, 04:29:32 AM
Yeah, and also, there's less doubling at the octave when lots of instruments are playing, which makes the whole sound less muddy. So those two things combined help a lot, and you can usually hear every instrument playing, although in tutti ff passages, the harp and celesta can still be totally lost, but it seems lots of other composers make the same mistake.

Or perhaps the instruments have not been placed to allow the sound to come through, or perhaps the conductors have not worked with the orchestra to ensure the full scoring can be heard, or the microphones were not placed correctly in the studio....just a thought.

Mike
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on April 28, 2007, 04:29:51 AM
I've noticed alot of variability in tempo from conductor to conductor.  I wonder if Mahler was general and vague on the matter of tempo.  Maybe what you want are some recordings that really contrast the fast and slow movements well! :)  Alright Mahlerites, what recordings do you think fit that bill?

Mahler's own musical format does not allow much variation to anything. That's one reason he is a second rate composer to me. Elgar developed an extremely flexible yet personal style allowing him to do almost anything. That's a sign of a genius.

After hearing half of Mahler's symphonies I think I have decoded his musical "building blocks". I feel like I could start composing new Mahler symphonies if I wanted. I am not a Sibelius fan but I have to say Mahler makes Sibelius sound good in comparison.

Well that's neat.  If I have time I'll wander through Naxos' site later today to hear some Buxtehude.

I hope you like what you hear.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on April 28, 2007, 04:36:03 AM
Or perhaps the instruments have not been placed to allow the sound to come through, or perhaps the conductors have not worked with the orchestra to ensure the full scoring can be heard, or the microphones were not placed correctly in the studio....just a thought.

Mike

It helps also to have a MAHLER orchestra. I really like the Concertgebouw and the NYPO, the biting woodwinds and brazen brass can cut through the thickest textures. The VPO, while a great orchestra is not ideal for Mahler, the sound is just too refined.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: greg on April 28, 2007, 04:38:31 AM
Or perhaps the instruments have not been placed to allow the sound to come through, or perhaps the conductors have not worked with the orchestra to ensure the full scoring can be heard, or the microphones were not placed correctly in the studio....just a thought.

Mike
lol, yeah, all of that's possible
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: MishaK on April 28, 2007, 04:53:59 AM
But you have heard the 9th. The first movement is counterpoint personified.  Like O Mensch said, Mahler's MASTERY of his art is such that even though there is a lot going on it never sounds BUSY.

For the record, it's Sarge who said that.

Mahler's own musical format does not allow much variation to anything. That's one reason he is a second rate composer to me.

You came to this erudite conclusion through intensive study of Mahler's scores, no doubt?

After hearing half of Mahler's symphonies I think I have decoded his musical "building blocks". I feel like I could start composing new Mahler symphonies if I wanted.

The world is eagerly awaiting your completion of the 10th.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: greg on April 28, 2007, 05:07:12 AM
nah, let's let him compose a new one, titled "Mahler's 11th". No one would know, it'd be so obvious it was an undiscovered work written by Mahler , the whole world would be thrilled.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on April 28, 2007, 05:07:31 AM
You came to this erudite conclusion through intensive study of Mahler's scores, no doubt?

Everybody here says Mahler's music is very transparent. Doesn't that mean what you hear is what's in the score? What is there in the score that can't be heard and why is it there if it can't be heard? I don't get this obsession of studying scores. Do you evaluate movies watching them or reading the sripts?

The world is eagerly awaiting your completion of the 10th.

Sure, but I don't limit my musical ambitious to Mahler. Tinkering with Payne's elaboration of Elgar's 3rd would be much more interesting. The study of how classical music and new electronic music could be combined is near my heart. I dream about "breakbeat baroque cantatas".
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: greg on April 28, 2007, 05:10:43 AM
Everybody here says Mahler's music is very transparent. Doesn't that mean what you hear is what's in the score? What is there in the score that can't be heard and why is it there if it can't be heard? I don't get this obsession of studying scores. Do you evaluate movies watching them or reading the sripts?
wow...... this coming from someone who's, what was it, an engineer of some kind?
seriously, pick up a score and study it for once- no one could learn how to compose just by listening to music
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on April 28, 2007, 05:19:52 AM
wow...... this coming from someone who's, what was it, an engineer of some kind?
seriously, pick up a score and study it for once- no one could learn how to compose just by listening to music

Acoustics engineer.

Why? I think I have learned a lot just listening. Andy claims to enjoy my 2nd symphony (is he just being polite?). How is that possible since I have only the basic knowledge of music theory and I don't study much scores (Some fragments of Elgar's scores I have whenever they are printed on CD).
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: MishaK on April 28, 2007, 05:34:30 AM
Everybody here says Mahler's music is very transparent. Doesn't that mean what you hear is what's in the score? What is there in the score that can't be heard and why is it there if it can't be heard? I don't get this obsession of studying scores. Do you evaluate movies watching them or reading the sripts?

In order to make sure that you are actually hearing and processing everything. Are you telling me you have instant aural memory and could reproduce an entire Mahler symphony from first hearing? If not, you may want to look at a score for deeper understanding.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: mahlertitan on April 28, 2007, 06:00:26 AM
In order to make sure that you are actually hearing and processing everything. Are you telling me you have instant aural memory and could reproduce an entire Mahler symphony from first hearing? If not, you may want to look at a score for deeper understanding.

he claims that he does.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: zamyrabyrd on April 28, 2007, 06:07:02 AM
Indeed, the opening 10 minutes of the 9th is like being punched in the stomach.
Mike

Oh boy, from the time I bought Barbirolli's cassette of the 9th more than 20 years ago, I must have listened to the first movement approaching if not exceeding a hundred times. The tape eventually wore out and I got the CD of the same performance. Still if I hear it again, I expect to hear different facets of the diamond as well as in the last movement. Those two together are hard to beat as the ne plus ultra of music. But incidentally...as befits a Mahler thread...

In his book of Norton lectures "The Unanswered Question"  Bernstein explains some of the structural ambiguity in the opening of the Adagietto of the 5th Symphony. I'll type this out:

"Then what is the magic secret? Ambiguity, as if you didn't know--and more than just dualistic ambiguity. You see all that vamping on the harp is syntactically vague; we have no idea what beat we're on or what meter we're in*. What's more the harp is setting up the key of the piece, F major by setting up the key  of the piece by suggesting its tonic triad, but only suggesting itbecause the root of the triad itself, F is missing. Only two-thirds of the triad is given us, the A and the C, reduplicated in several octaves, but still only two different notes. So we're not sure that our key is going to be F major...

As the three upbeats begin we would almost vote for A minor because there's that A in the cello part that seems to predominate: but no, it sneakily descends to F**--Oh it feels so good. We're home, in F Major but there's still that unresolved tug-at-the-heart in that appoggiatura up there in the melody, and when it
resolves we just melt away with the pleasure of fulfillment."  p.199

*Harp goes from binary eighth notes to triplets, but omitting the main beats.
** Contrabass pizzicato

This is only a miniscule peek into the complex structures inherent in Mahler's works.

ZB




Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on April 28, 2007, 06:10:51 AM
In order to make sure that you are actually hearing and processing everything. Are you telling me you have instant aural memory and could reproduce an entire Mahler symphony from first hearing? If not, you may want to look at a score for deeper understanding.

I have a bad memory. I can't memorise any musical piece but I can "learn" musical fragments. I don't know about others but that's how my head works.

he claims that he does.

I have never claimed that!  >:(
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: mahlertitan on April 28, 2007, 06:19:57 AM
I have a bad memory. I can't memorise any musical piece but I can "learn" musical fragments. I don't know about others but that's how my head works.

I have never claimed that!  >:(

well, you certainly implied that.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on April 28, 2007, 06:33:03 AM
well, you certainly implied that.

No, you did hasty conclusions. Because I have a bad memory I need to compensate it "calculating" things I don't remember from things I do remember. This is perhaps the reason for my ability to understand complex musical structures.

I don't have absolute pitch either. I don't know what the first note is but I identify intervals, consonance/dissonance of chords etc. I hear everything but in relative form.

Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: mahlertitan on April 28, 2007, 06:47:10 AM
No, you did hasty conclusions. Because I have a bad memory I need to compensate it "calculating" things I don't remember from things I do remember. This is perhaps the reason for my ability to understand complex musical structures.

I don't have absolute pitch either. I don't know what the first note is but I identify intervals, consonance/dissonance of chords etc. I hear everything but in relative form.


so, you are special then, we simply can't grasp your genius.

i am listening to your symphony no.2, i will know whether you are a genius or not after i listened to all of it.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on April 28, 2007, 06:55:33 AM
so, you are special then, we simply can't grasp your genius.

I don't think I am a genius. Elgarians just seem to understand something other people don't.

i am listening to your symphony no.2, i will know whether you are a genius or not after i listened to all of it.

Thank you MT for your interest! All kind of feedback is welcome.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Haffner on April 28, 2007, 06:56:08 AM


 Andy claims to enjoy my 2nd symphony (is he just being polite?).





Nope. I liked your symphony all three times I've heard it, including the first time last December I believe. But I'm far from being musically "adept", I just teach guitar in Burlington, Vermont. But, I like to think of myself as liking good music, as naive as that sounds.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Haffner on April 28, 2007, 07:01:08 AM
I read and study scores, but I think listening to music is integral toward playing, writing, and everything else concerning music. If 71 wrote his Symphony #2 (Haven't checked out #1 yet) without very little understanding of music and/or scores, he's definitely not doing bad at all.

But again, I am a 40 year old (electric! gasp!) guitar teacher from Burlington,Vermont.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: mahlertitan on April 28, 2007, 07:12:54 AM
Okay i am done listening symphony no.2.

my thoughts:
- the only thing "classical" about the symphony is it's name "symphony no 2" and the fact that is is scored for classical instruments.
- very little emphasis on organization, no trace of Sonata Form, instead i get a sea of sound
- from an academic point of view, this work is laughable, as it doesn't demonstrate composer's knowledge of any of the known classical devices: harmony, counterpoint, development,etc.... but as a piece from an amateur who knows close to nothing about theory, it's an impressive effort.
- take a few lessens in theory first, then write music.

you could start here:
www.musictheory.net
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: knight66 on April 28, 2007, 07:36:53 AM
ZB, Thanks for typing that out. It is the Barbirolli I first had and consistently return to. I detect pain and longing and a kind of deconstruction into nothingness in that first movement. He is really stretching the language. Finally we get in the last movement some consolation. It is quite a journey.

Mike
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Cato on April 28, 2007, 07:42:05 AM


But again, I am a 40 year old (electric! gasp!) guitar teacher from Burlington,Vermont.

Dude, how many amps are needed to get you going at your advanced age?

(I always thought you were a 20-something!)   ;D
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on April 28, 2007, 08:05:21 AM
Nope. I liked your symphony all three times I've heard it, including the first time last December I believe. But I'm far from being musically "adept", I just teach guitar in Burlington, Vermont. But, I like to think of myself as liking good music, as naive as that sounds.

I'm glad you like it Andy. Three times is an impressive amount of listening!

I read and study scores, but I think listening to music is integral toward playing, writing, and everything else concerning music. If 71 wrote his Symphony #2 (Haven't checked out #1 yet) without very little understanding of music and/or scores, he's definitely not doing bad at all.

Forget my 1st symphony Andy.  ;D It's not a symphony at all even in my scale. It's a cacophony. I learned a lot between #1 and #2.

Okay i am done listening symphony no.2.

my thoughts:
- the only thing "classical" about the symphony is it's name "symphony no 2" and the fact that is is scored for classical instruments.
- very little emphasis on organization, no trace of Sonata Form, instead i get a sea of sound
- from an academic point of view, this work is laughable, as it doesn't demonstrate composer's knowledge of any of the known classical devices: harmony, counterpoint, development,etc.... but as a piece from an amateur who knows close to nothing about theory, it's an impressive effort.
- take a few lessens in theory first, then write music.

you could start here:
www.musictheory.net


Thanks for the feedback MT! Thanks for listening!
I agree pretty much with everything you say.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: zamyrabyrd on April 28, 2007, 09:10:33 AM
Yes. The tempo of Mahler's slow movememts aren't that slow and he doesn't seem to have really fast movements. Also, the weighting of musical dimensions remain almost constant. Other composers weight usually melody in slow moments and rhythm in fast movements.

Yikes, get a grip! I was lucky enough to see Bernstein conduct the 9th in Tel Aviv with the IPO, August 1985. Afterwards, visibly depleted he returned to the stage to acknowledge the intense applause and only clutching the score as the last word. He himself regarded this work in the inner sanctum of music and so do I. In fact it will be a labor of love to type out the following from the same book, p. 319-21

"...Only then comes the fourth and last movement, the Adagio, the final farewell. It takes the form of a prayer, Mahler's last chorale, his closing hymn so to speak; and it prays for the restoration of life, of tonality, of faith.  This is tonality unashamed, presented in all aspects ranging from the diatonic simplicity of the hymn tune that opens it through every possible chromatic ambiguity. It's also a passionate prayer, moving from one climax to another, each more searing than the last. But there are no solutions...

And so we come to the final incredible page. And this page, I think, is the closest we have ever come in any work of art, to experiencing the very act of dying, of giving it all up.

The slowness of this page is terrifying: Adagissimo, he writes the slowest possible musical direction; and then langsam (slow), esterbend (dying away) zoegernd (hesitating); and if all those were not enough to indicate the near stoppage of time, he adds ausserest langsam (extremely slow) in the very last bars. It is terrifying and paralyzing, as the strands of sound disintegrate. We hold on to them, hovering between hope and submission. And one by one, these spidery strands connecting us to life melt away, vanish from our fingers even as we hold them. We cling to them as they dematerialize; we are holding two--then one. One, and suddenly none. For a petrifying moment there is only silence..."

Slow enough for you????

There is more but you can read the book and listen to the music with respect. To the foregoing, I would add the Ewig of the Lied von der Erde and also the end of the Pathetique Symphony by Tschaikovsky.

ZB
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: BachQ on April 28, 2007, 09:31:09 AM
it prays for the restoration of life, of tonality, of faith.  This is tonality unashamed, presented in all aspects ranging from the diatonic simplicity of the hymn tune that opens it through every possible chromatic ambiguity. It's also a passionate prayer, moving from one climax to another, each more searing than the last. But there are no solutions...

Nice passage, ZB.  Long live tonality!
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: knight66 on April 28, 2007, 09:50:11 AM
Thanks again ZB, it is good to learn those insights.

Mike
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on April 28, 2007, 10:01:53 AM
When I talk about slow and fast music I don't mean only tempo but more importantly "spectrum of events". If you double the tempo but use twice longer notes there is still the same amount of event per second. Mahler's "spectrum of events" remains almost the same even if the tempo vary a lot.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: greg on April 28, 2007, 12:53:51 PM
When I talk about slow and fast music I don't mean only tempo but more importantly "spectrum of events". If you double the tempo but use twice longer notes there is still the same amount of event per second. Mahler's "spectrum of events" remains almost the same even if the tempo vary a lot.
I think I'm starting to understand what you're saying now- see, if you said that in the first place, we'd be less confused.  8)
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Haffner on April 28, 2007, 02:41:58 PM
Dude, how many amps are needed to get you going at your advanced age?

(I always thought you were a 20-something!)   ;D




You are very kind. It only takes me an old Ford car battery to juice me up for animated activities during the day.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: MishaK on April 29, 2007, 07:53:14 AM
When I talk about slow and fast music I don't mean only tempo but more importantly "spectrum of events". If you double the tempo but use twice longer notes there is still the same amount of event per second. Mahler's "spectrum of events" remains almost the same even if the tempo vary a lot.

Except that it is still objectively wrong what you're saying.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: mahlertitan on April 29, 2007, 08:05:03 AM
When I talk about slow and fast music I don't mean only tempo but more importantly "spectrum of events". If you double the tempo but use twice longer notes there is still the same amount of event per second. Mahler's "spectrum of events" remains almost the same even if the tempo vary a lot.

so? what if Mahler's music isn't fast, or isn't slow? What does speed has to do with the quality of the music?
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: DavidW on April 29, 2007, 01:08:49 PM
Elgar do you mean in your example that events = notes?  In fact why not just say that so there is no ambiguity.

So are we talking about Mahler's density of notes per second here?  If you played a Mahler symphony by shortening the duration of the notes and playing at a faster tempo then the density of notes per second will go up, but does that make the symphony better?  I would say that it wouldn't, because you would lose the emotional impact of the symphony.

I'm not surprised that you can turn what appears on the surface to be a quite reasonable statement on Mahler's music on it's head.  If it couldn't be turned on it's head, then you would have just invented a quantitative measure of quality.  And we know that such a notion does not make sense in the arts.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on April 29, 2007, 01:10:16 PM
Except that it is still objectively wrong what you're saying.

Objective things can be proved. So, prove me wrong.

so? what if Mahler's music isn't fast, or isn't slow? What does speed has to do with the quality of the music?

I was just telling about my obsevations of Mahler's music. Quality is an other thing.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on April 29, 2007, 01:16:55 PM
Elgar do you mean in your example that events = notes?  In fact why not just say that so there is no ambiguity.

So are we talking about Mahler's density of notes per second here?  If you played a Mahler symphony by shortening the duration of the notes and playing at a faster tempo then the density of notes per second will go up, but does that make the symphony better?  I would say that it wouldn't, because you would lose the emotional impact of the symphony.

I'm not surprised that you can turn what appears on the surface to be a quite reasonable statement on Mahler's music on it's head.  If it couldn't be turned on it's head, then you would have just invented a quantitative measure of quality.  And we know that such a notion does not make sense in the arts.

I am not trying to invent objective measure for quality in music but certain things can be measured mentally. Events = notes pretty much but also the way the notes are played. Fading sound in and out is an event. Changing the timbre of an intrument during a (long) note is an event too. Everything that has musical relevance and information is an event.

This is not about the quality. I am just explaining why Mahler's slow and fast movements differ less than those by many other composers.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: DavidW on April 29, 2007, 01:32:01 PM
Well okay that would seem to suggest that then by you saying that Mahler's slow movements are as eventful as his fast movements, you are paying Mahler a compliment then right?

I certainly don't think that slow movements should be uneventful, I think that they should be as meaningful as the fast movements, just expressing different moods.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on April 29, 2007, 02:21:35 PM
Well okay that would seem to suggest that then by you saying that Mahler's slow movements are as eventful as his fast movements, you are paying Mahler a compliment then right?

I certainly don't think that slow movements should be uneventful, I think that they should be as meaningful as the fast movements, just expressing different moods.

This isn't that simple. I talked about "spectrum of events". Slow movements should have lots of long events (most instruments play long notes) and only a few short events if any. For fast movements it should be the other way around, of course.

Mahler uses the same kind of spectrum for all movements. The spectrum is only scaled by tempo. This is because Mahler seems to have had a rigid system for composing causing an almost constant balance between short, medium and long notes.

I am not paying Mahler a compliment yet. It seems my understanding of his music is not good enough and I need to listen more.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: mahlertitan on April 29, 2007, 02:49:17 PM
I am not trying to invent objective measure for quality in music but certain things can be measured mentally.

it's the first time in my life that i have hear that statement. I have taken countless courses in physics, biology, chemistry, mathematics, from high school to college, this is the first time i have encounter the phrase "measured mentally".

how persuasive do you think your arguments are, if your evidence came from you "mentally". You can never prove, persuade anything, anyone if you don't have HARD, OBJECTIVE, EVIDENCE.

My conclusion so far is, you must be one one of the following:
either you're
trying to mess with our heads intentionally
or
15 years old
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: DavidW on April 29, 2007, 03:47:48 PM
This isn't that simple. I talked about "spectrum of events". Slow movements should have lots of long events (most instruments play long notes) and only a few short events if any. For fast movements it should be the other way around, of course.

Ah but you counted things such as changing timbre as an event.  That is a short event.  That means that you think that slow movements should not have any nuances such as that?  That sounds pretty boring to me! :D  I can't think of any great composer that would write such bland slow movements.

Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on April 30, 2007, 11:43:40 AM
Mahler 5 listened. The first two movements are stormy, relatively complex but messy. I have heard Adagietto many many times before on radio. My opinion about Mahler have been based on that. It's beautiful music and a good slow movement but frankly nothing mindblowing. The final movement was uninteresting.

Mahler's thematic material is not that strong and he plays with it a lot trying to get something out of it. Mahler is complex sometimes but in a boring way. Maybe he had a poor imagination?

Ah but you counted things such as changing timbre as an event.  That is a short event.  That means that you think that slow movements should not have any nuances such as that?  That sounds pretty boring to me! :D  I can't think of any great composer that would write such bland slow movements.

Changing timbre is a long event if it happens rarely. Slow movements can have some short events as long as most of the events are long. Sorry David, but that was a pathetic try to make me look stupid.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Florestan on April 30, 2007, 12:05:02 PM
I have heard Adagietto many many times before on radio. My opinion about Mahler have been based on that.

It's like an opinion about Beethoven based on Fuer Elise, or about Mozart based on Marcia alla Turca. :)
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: karlhenning on April 30, 2007, 12:06:23 PM
It's like an opinion about Beethoven based on Fuer Elise, or about Mozart based on Marcia alla Turca

Or even, like an opinion about Elgar based on The Starlight Express  8)
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on April 30, 2007, 12:12:42 PM
It's like an opinion about Beethoven based on Fuer Elise, or about Mozart based on Marcia alla Turca. :)

That's why I listen to the symphonies now that I can.

Or even, like an opinion about Elgar based on The Starlight Express  8)

I wonder if anyone has heard The Starlight Express but nothing else by Elgar? I don't understand why you mock that work. Musical cheese? So what? We all like cheese don't we? Elgar had the guts to compose lighter things too. I like the work a lot.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: MishaK on April 30, 2007, 12:46:54 PM
Mahler 5 listened. The first two movements are stormy, relatively complex but messy. I have heard Adagietto many many times before on radio. My opinion about Mahler have been based on that. It's beautiful music and a good slow movement but frankly nothing mindblowing. The final movement was uninteresting.

OK, just small test of your listening skills: the main theme of the Adagietto, did you happen to hear it resurface somewhere else outside of that movement? Oh, BTW, Streng wie ein Kondukt = stormy? I don't think so.

Mahler's thematic material is not that strong and he plays with it a lot trying to get something out of it.

Just what do you mean by "strong"?
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on April 30, 2007, 01:03:21 PM
OK, just small test of your listening skills: the main theme of the Adagietto, did you happen to hear it resurface somewhere else outside of that movement? Oh, BTW, Streng wie ein Kondukt = stormy? I don't think so.

Yes, I think I heard it before the Adagietto. Second or third movement.

Just what do you mean by "strong"?

Simply put: no good melodies.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: MishaK on April 30, 2007, 01:09:36 PM
Yes, I think I heard it before the Adagietto. Second or third movement.

Interesting. Can you be more precise?

Simply put: no good melodies.

Define "good". Also, need a theme necessarily be melodic to be "good"? (C.f., e.g., Beethoven Sym. No.5, 1st mov't.)
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on April 30, 2007, 01:18:32 PM
Interesting. Can you be more precise?

Sorry, I don't remember better than that.

Define "good". Also, need a theme necessarily be melodic to be "good"? (C.f., e.g., Beethoven Sym. No.5, 1st mov't.)

I can't define that. Mahler's thematic material is just relatively boring. Period. I don't consider that Beethoven theme good either but it's used well.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: MishaK on April 30, 2007, 01:23:02 PM
Sorry, I don't remember better than that.

I am asking you to re-listen and re-check. If you can figure out where that theme appears, you will need to revise a few of your earlier statements. I will leave it at that.

I can't define that. Mahler's thematic material is just relatively boring. Period.

You do realize you just went from defining one relative and subjective term with another relative and subjective term, which inturn you defined with yet another relative and subjective term. Not very helpful, nor applicable, really, considering that literally thousands will play top dollar to hear the world's best orchestras and maestros perform this stuff and all of them will be at the edge of their seats.

I don't consider that Beethoven theme good either but it's used well.

Which raises the question whether a theme needs to be "good" at all.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: mahlertitan on April 30, 2007, 01:33:06 PM
Sorry, I don't remember better than that.

I can't define that. Mahler's thematic material is just relatively boring. Period. I don't consider that Beethoven theme good either but it's used well.

listen to the last movement of Mahler's fifth, and try to make a connection between the 4th movement and fifth movement!

it's not that simple!
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: MishaK on April 30, 2007, 01:43:01 PM
listen to the last movement of Mahler's fifth, and try to make a connection between the 4th movement and fifth movement!

it's not that simple!

Dude! Don't give it away!
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on April 30, 2007, 02:32:42 PM
I won't be listening to Mahler 5 in near future.
I just listened it and now it's turn to listen something else!


Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: MishaK on April 30, 2007, 02:36:32 PM
I won't be listening to Mahler 5 in near future.
I just listened it and now it's turn to listen something else!

Then you don't really have any basis for making any such universal pronouncements, as your ability to comprehend at first listen is clearly very limited.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on April 30, 2007, 02:44:55 PM
Then you don't really have any basis for making any such universal pronouncements, as your ability to comprehend at first listen is clearly very limited.

I clearly pay attention to different things than you. In that sense I am not limited at all.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: MishaK on April 30, 2007, 02:54:32 PM
I clearly pay attention to different things than you. In that sense I am not limited at all.

But you have evidently missed numerous blatantly obvious elements of Mahler's work and content yourself with a very superficial understanding of what you think you heard. That is limited, when it comes to engaging your interlocutors on this forum. It would be one thing if you were capable of providing a detailed musical analysis and then said that you still find it inadequate compared to to the great Elgar. But it's quite another to claim Mahler's supposed vast inferiority and not even be able to accurately describe the works you claim are so inferior.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: mahlertitan on April 30, 2007, 03:07:48 PM
I clearly pay attention to different things than you. In that sense I am not limited at all.

dude, i gave you a huge HINT, but you still don't get it, so it tells me that you are not a good listener at all.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: DavidW on April 30, 2007, 03:12:17 PM
Changing timbre is a long event if it happens rarely. Slow movements can have some short events as long as most of the events are long. Sorry David, but that was a pathetic try to make me look stupid.

I'm hurt that you thought that I was trying to make you look stupid.  If you want to turn the conversation into slinging insults then I'm done.  I'm not here to argue with you, I'm here to have a conversation with you.  I questioned your notion of density of musical events because I don't think that it's sound.  The fact that you have been evasive and dodgy about it, redefining what you mean, making provisions here and there, should suggest to you that you're on shaky ground.

Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on April 30, 2007, 03:41:51 PM
But you have evidently missed numerous blatantly obvious elements of Mahler's work and content yourself with a very superficial understanding of what you think you heard. That is limited, when it comes to engaging your interlocutors on this forum. It would be one thing if you were capable of providing a detailed musical analysis and then said that you still find it inadequate compared to to the great Elgar. But it's quite another to claim Mahler's supposed vast inferiority and not even be able to accurately describe the works you claim are so inferior.

So I can't have opinions about any music because I don't have a degree in music? Don't you understand that even if I don't know every small aspect in music theory music can move me and I can enjoy it. If Elgar moves me more than Mahler then my opinion is that Elgar is a better composer. Simple as that!
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on April 30, 2007, 03:46:59 PM
dude, i gave you a huge HINT, but you still don't get it, so it tells me that you are not a good listener at all.

If I was a bad listener I would listen to only crappy pop music! I can enjoy complex classical works so I am a good listener.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: mahlertitan on April 30, 2007, 03:59:22 PM
So I can't have opinions about any music because I don't have a degree in music? Don't you understand that even if I don't know every small aspect in music theory music can move me and I can enjoy it. If Elgar moves me more than Mahler then my opinion is that Elgar is a better composer. Simple as that!

      You do have to justify your beliefs. You can hate Mahler if you want, it's none of my business. I can't make you like Mahler, but, you can't come to a thread that's dedicated to thoughtful discussions on this composer's music without having any sound arguments. You can hate Mahler passionately, and that's alright, but since you dropped in your line, you need to prove it why it is so.
      I understand your passion for Elgar, i've been through the same thing; only a few years ago, i thought that Mahler's music is the Greatest, far better than any composer ever lived.... because i was "in the moment", i was in the "Mahler phase", i can't get his music out of my head. When you are crazy about certain composer's works, it clouds your judgment, so, be careful about what statement you make, because it can really make you look foolish.

i felt that this thread has lost it's essence, it's no longer about Mahler's music, but rather "Everybody vs. 71 dB".

let's talk about Mahler.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on April 30, 2007, 04:14:14 PM
      You do have to justify your beliefs. You can hate Mahler if you want, it's none of my business. I can't make you like Mahler, but, you can't come to a thread that's dedicated to thoughtful discussions on this composer's music without having any sound arguments. You can hate Mahler passionately, and that's alright, but since you dropped in your line, you need to prove it why it is so.

Wait a second! I don't hate Mahler! Where have I said something like that? I have been only critical. Mahler enjoys a reputation of beeing one of the greatest symphonist and I have just questioned that. He is definitely a fine composer. I like the hooking aspect in his music but in my opinion for example Elgar, Nielsen and Saint-Saëns wrote better (=greater musical impact) symphonies.

I don't hate any classical composer but I hate how some composers are overvaluead and others are undervalued/ignored.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: MishaK on April 30, 2007, 05:00:06 PM
So I can't have opinions about any music because I don't have a degree in music? Don't you understand that even if I don't know every small aspect in music theory music can move me and I can enjoy it. If Elgar moves me more than Mahler then my opinion is that Elgar is a better composer. Simple as that!

We've been over this before: You can like Elgar better than Mahler all you want. But you can't make absolute statements like "Elgar is a better composer" or "Mahler's ideas are limited" or "his melodies are bad" without some supporting logic. Nobody is going to take you for task for saying "I like Elgar better than Mahler". But as soon as you start making qualitative judgements (as opposed to pure expressions of preference) people will ask you for supporting evidence and logical argumentation in support of your claims. Without some musical knowledge your ability at providing these will be limited. My questions here were initially directed at prodding you to learn what you are obviously missing about Mahler. In the end, this additional technical understanding would help you to better understand Elgar and others as well. But I can't help you if you refuse.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on May 01, 2007, 12:44:49 AM
We've been over this before: You can like Elgar better than Mahler all you want. But you can't make absolute statements like "Elgar is a better composer" or "Mahler's ideas are limited" or "his melodies are bad" without some supporting logic. Nobody is going to take you for task for saying "I like Elgar better than Mahler". But as soon as you start making qualitative judgements (as opposed to pure expressions of preference) people will ask you for supporting evidence and logical argumentation in support of your claims. Without some musical knowledge your ability at providing these will be limited. My questions here were initially directed at prodding you to learn what you are obviously missing about Mahler. In the end, this additional technical understanding would help you to better understand Elgar and others as well. But I can't help you if you refuse.

I try my best to present evidence for my claims. I have read some music theory and it seems to give names to things and not much else. From my point of view "academic" things are favored for no rational reason. I don't care if a development of thematic material goes "by the book" or a movement is perfectly in sonata form if it does not sound good. Music theory should be only a help to get music that sounds good.

I have different understanding of musical structures which comes from electronic (dance) music. I'd say I am one of the few (if not the only) person on this forum who has a clear understanding of how breakbeat should be done. These things can't be studied in universities. These things are learned listening to that kind of music and making music. I have been finetuning loops and creating rhythms for 15 years.

I have been listening to classical music for 10 years now. I have been expanding my understanding of electric music to classical music. Due to the lack of formal education I don't use the academic terms but I think I am talking about relevant things using my own terms.

Yes, perhaps I am missing something in Mahler's music but please, give me some time to find it. When I tell what wrong with Mahler in my opinion, others can tell what I am doing wrong.   
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: from the new world on May 01, 2007, 01:33:17 AM
Yes, perhaps I am missing something in Mahler's music but please, give me some time to find it. When I tell what wrong with Mahler in my opinion, others can tell what I am doing wrong.  

If you have only heard each symphony once, or even a few times then I doubt that you really have much idea what is going on. I know that I certainly didn't, and there are still, after 4 years, some movements that I do not really follow. It was only a few weeks ago that I actually understood the connections between the adagietto and rondo of the 5th.

If Elgar moves me more than Mahler then my opinion is that Elgar is a better composer. Simple as that!

There is every chance that Mahler will move you more than Elgar, given time, and you do seem willing to explore Mahler, even if you are not that impressed at the moment. The point is that you know Elgar, but not Mahler and until you do actually know the works your opinions are based on what you thought you heard, and certainly not on what you hear after you get to know the works well.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on May 01, 2007, 02:36:56 AM
If you have only heard each symphony once, or even a few times then I doubt that you really have much idea what is going on. I know that I certainly didn't, and there are still, after 4 years, some movements that I do not really follow. It was only a few weeks ago that I actually understood the connections between the adagietto and rondo of the 5th.

There is every chance that Mahler will move you more than Elgar, given time, and you do seem willing to explore Mahler, even if you are not that impressed at the moment. The point is that you know Elgar, but not Mahler and until you do actually know the works your opinions are based on what you thought you heard, and certainly not on what you hear after you get to know the works well.

It's also possible Mahler moves me less when I listen to him more. I haven't had a promising feeling with Mahler. I don't feel that further listening with make me enjoy Mahler more. I have heard Adagietto from the fifth many many times and I think it's getting less interesting with each listening. I fear the same happens with other movements and symphonies.

When I heard Elgar's symphonies the first time I knew I didn't get everything and I was very interested to hear them again. After 5 or 6 listenings I feld I understand everything.

But, before I have heard Mahler's work several times I don't say anything... ...if Mahler hits me then there is Bruckner to be understood...  ;D
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: karlhenning on May 01, 2007, 03:46:03 AM
When I heard Elgar's symphonies the first time I knew I didn't get everything and I was very interested to hear them again. After 5 or 6 listenings I feld I understand everything.

Actually, from what I read of your posts on this forum over time, I am not at all confident that you understand everything about (say) any of Elgar's symphonies.

But if you feel you understand everything, why, you just go right ahead.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: greg on May 01, 2007, 04:00:22 AM
There is every chance that Mahler will move you more than Elgar, given time, and you do seem willing to explore Mahler, even if you are not that impressed at the moment. The point is that you know Elgar, but not Mahler and until you do actually know the works your opinions are based on what you thought you heard, and certainly not on what you hear after you get to know the works well.
Time is definetely a factor, since it took me months before I could say "Mahler is my favorite composer" from the time I first started getting into his music. Now he's been my favorite for 2 years, and probaby for the rest of my life (i say probably, but i'm almost 100% sure about it).

Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on May 01, 2007, 04:08:35 AM
Actually, from what I read of your posts on this forum over time, I am not at all confident that you understand everything about (say) any of Elgar's symphonies.

But if you feel you understand everything, why, you just go right ahead.

Funny, I feel I am one of those few people who understand everything about Elgar's symphonies.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: knight66 on May 01, 2007, 04:11:05 AM
The claims being made of not needing to understand the formal structures of music to be able to compose great works, better perhaps than Mahler seemingly, reminds me of a parallell.

Picasso eventually was producing semi abstract figurative work with the most economical number of strokes of the brush. There was very little there, yet there was in fact so very much there.

However, this was a distillation from years of long and close study of anatomy and of methods of producing work.

He made it look easy and spawned a number of half-assed semi-immitators who felt they could ignore the sweat involved in learing the basic craft, and go straight to the distillation. It was a best a pale moon up against the burning sun of Picasso's originality.

There are no shortcuts, unless you happen to be a bone fide genius.

Mike
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: knight66 on May 01, 2007, 04:12:05 AM
Funny, I feel I am one of those few people who understand everything about Elgar's symphonies.

If you understand everything, then you are in fact unique.

Mike
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: greg on May 01, 2007, 04:12:38 AM
Last night I listened to that incredible opening movement of the 9th symphony, and just realized more than ever how complex it really is. I'd say it's one of the hardest scores to "figure out" that I've ever studied. And yeah, I'm comparing it to Webern and Schoenberg, too. Even compared to a hyper-complex score like Ligeti's Lontano- with Lontano, you can break it down and realize there is a very simple idea going on harmonically, but it's made complex by having so many different instruments play through in a different way, and also, nearly the whole piece is quiet. With Mahler, you have so many instruments playing figures that aren't related at all rhythmically, but also, you have fragments of themes used as counterpoint going on, too. And that's just the beginning...
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: greg on May 01, 2007, 04:13:42 AM
Funny, I feel I am one of those few people who understand everything about Elgar's symphonies.
and you said you didn't have the scores?
uhhhhhh....
trust me, if you get the scores, you'll learn stuff you never knew
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: karlhenning on May 01, 2007, 04:16:10 AM
and you said you didn't have the scores?
uhhhhhh....
trust me, if you get the scores, you'll learn stuff you never knew

No, Greg, the key is feeling that you know the music better than anyone else.

Debussy was already taken, so he's latched onto Elgar  ;D
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: greg on May 01, 2007, 04:43:10 AM
No, Greg, the key is feeling that you know the music better than anyone else.

Debussy was already taken, so he's latched onto Elgar  ;D
Wagner was already taken, too..... so now we have three composers that are understood better than any conductor in the world who has studied their scores- what should we do now? Not let them make any more recordings? I mean, if they don't understand them better than 71 db or The Pink Harp, why bother?  :-\
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Greta on May 01, 2007, 04:52:52 AM
Quote
I haven't had a promising feeling with Mahler. I don't feel that further listening with make me enjoy Mahler more.

To each his own, of course, but for me I had a promising feeling even at the beginning of listening to Mahler, that really special rare feeling that this is a composer you could fall in love with. That sparkle of excitement of how much fun it's going to be to discover their work and what a journey.

I started with Mahler's 5th actually, and spent a long time with it. The Adagietto didn't really hit me the first time, or the second either, I thought it was beautiful but it didn't just slay me like it does now. It just breaks me down in tears. For me it's close to the Tristan Liebestod, Barber's Adagio, Elgar's Nimrod, and others, as one of the most sublime slow pieces ever written. So nostalgic and longing and filled with overwhelming love and beauty and pain.

Mahler wrote the most gorgeous Adagios, so poignant. I also really love the 4th's (3rd mvmt), we were driving home a few days ago listening to it and I was looking out the window at the ink black sky, twinkling stars, and moon perched above and suddenly had this powerful realization of how small we are on this little blue planet in this grand universe...breathtaking.

His music can run very deep. But for me, I find it kind of comes up and hits me when I'm not looking! I think you have to be in the right mood for him to really speak to you. On the surface his music is obviously pretty stuff, but I think, like with any composer, some people just connect with the deep ideas he tried to express and others don't. There are certainly many composers I don't "get" that a lot of other people do!

There's no need to contradict any of the above, 71dB, we know you're giving him a try and that's the most you can do. Leave him for a while, come home after a long day and throw on one of his symphonies on a whim and see what happens. In any case, you'll have gotten to know the music of another great composer. And thanks for stimulating our discussion. ;)
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: zamyrabyrd on May 01, 2007, 05:27:13 AM
When I talk about slow and fast music I don't mean only tempo but more importantly "spectrum of events". If you double the tempo but use twice longer notes there is still the same amount of event per second. Mahler's "spectrum of events" remains almost the same even if the tempo vary a lot.

There may be something to what you are saying about "spectrum of events" and it might even be a productive point of departure for a discussion--but with a few caveats. Such an idea usually raises its head in ethnomusicology. But more of that a little later.

First of all, it might seem that a piece with let's say a metre of 4/4 with four quarter notes to the beat and each one equal to MM 60 would be the same as turning the metre into 2/2 and each half note gets one beat. HOWEVER, the feel of a half note just simply is NOT the same as a quarter. The question, why most waltzes are 3/4 and not 3/8  is essentially the same process speeded up instead but doesn't pan out.

I think the best way to describe the "spectrum of events" in music is to use language as an example. Cross culturally, languages as a rule have one outstanding aspect of complexity. English has orthographic stumbling blocks; Chinese is relatively simple grammatically but has a few thousand characters; German has all those confounding endings, and so on.  Western tonal music has harmony and melody. "Events" are not necessarily measured in notes but underground even techtonic changes. (This is really such a large subject that I fain from even trying to describe it...)

The differences in Indian Ragas might microtonal; in African drumming, complex layered rhythms, Middle Eastern music, almost infinite variations of a melody (listen to Oum Khoulthum), and so on.

So an "event" in a Mahler Symphony may be a change of melody, or its fragmentation, or a different harmonization (think of the last movement of #1 where the last tattoo of the trumpet is harmonized in an utterly astounding change of key), or a contrasting counter melody, etc., etc, etc. Now, to wit, all these and more are not only linear but subject to multi layered structure. So one does not go from event to event but experiences them architecturally.

Regards,
ZB
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on May 01, 2007, 05:36:47 AM

First of all, it might seem that a piece with let's say a metre of 4/4 with four quarter notes to the beat and each one equal to MM 60 would be the same as turning the metre into 2/2 and each half note gets one beat. HOWEVER, the feel of a half note just simply is NOT the same as a quarter. The question, why most waltzes are 3/4 and not 3/8  is essentially the same process speeded up instead but doesn't pan out.


Well, when you have 4/4 there are four beats per measure and if you change it to 2/2 there are only 2 beats per measure so naturally the pulse of the music is going to be different. BUT, if you change the 4/4 to 2/4 but make every note half the note value, for example the quarter note in 4/4 to an eighth note in 2/4, THEN the pulse would be the same right? But somehow it STILL feels different. I notice that in the SLOW movements of almost all works it is always the eigth note and sometimes the 16th note that gets the beat. You wonder why the composer doesn't notate the entire movement so that the quarter note gets the beat, at least that saves a couple of slashes on music paper right?
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Guido on May 01, 2007, 06:44:21 AM
Sorry, I've come to this discussion late, but I don't understand the obsession with complexity? Why not just listen to Boulez, Carter and Ferneyhough all the time. The Sarabande of the fifth cello suite by Bach is one of the simplest movements you're ever likely to hear (not harmonically...) but as Rostropovich says: It's worth more than many volumes by lesser composers.

I'm only just bigining to like Mahler, and understand his music. I'm not sure the sort of fetishism with size and grandiosity is totally my preferred aesthetic, but I can see its appeal, and am accepting the music on its own terms. Its hard work though!
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on May 01, 2007, 07:06:57 AM
His music can run very deep. But for me, I find it kind of comes up and hits me when I'm not looking! I think you have to be in the right mood for him to really speak to you. On the surface his music is obviously pretty stuff, but I think, like with any composer, some people just connect with the deep ideas he tried to express and others don't. There are certainly many composers I don't "get" that a lot of other people do!

Yes, I have to find the mood Mahler suites best. I don't have a clue what that mood would be.
 
There's no need to contradict any of the above, 71dB, we know you're giving him a try and that's the most you can do. Leave him for a while, come home after a long day and throw on one of his symphonies on a whim and see what happens. In any case, you'll have gotten to know the music of another great composer. And thanks for stimulating our discussion. ;)

Some composers I start to like very fast, others take more time. I have a bad feeling about Mahler but we never know... ...at least I try. Actually Mahler is nice music but only nice. It does not blow me away!

You are welcome, it's good if I have contributed a stimulating discussion.

Wagner was already taken, too..... so now we have three composers that are understood better than any conductor in the world who has studied their scores- what should we do now? Not let them make any more recordings? I mean, if they don't understand them better than 71 db or The Pink Harp, why bother?  :-\

In what way conductors do not understand Elgar's music? How can they conduct it if there is something they don't get? Remember that what I understand completely is conductors interpretation of Elgar's scores.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: karlhenning on May 01, 2007, 07:13:44 AM
Sorry, I've come to this discussion late, but I don't understand the obsession with complexity?

Yes, that is but one of 71 dB's dBêtes noires . . . .
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: karlhenning on May 01, 2007, 07:14:57 AM
Remember that what I understand completely is conductors interpretation of Elgar's scores.

How can you understand that "completely," if you do not read the scores, yourself?

Take your time.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: MishaK on May 01, 2007, 07:20:53 AM
I try my best to present evidence for my claims. I have read some music theory and it seems to give names to things and not much else. From my point of view "academic" things are favored for no rational reason. I don't care if a development of thematic material goes "by the book" or a movement is perfectly in sonata form if it does not sound good. Music theory should be only a help to get music that sounds good.

Nothing in Mahler is "by the book" or "academic", really. Again, I am not questioning the sincerity of your preferences. But then state them as what they are: preferences, not erudite judgments on quality. You lack the technical understanding to make the latter.

I have different understanding of musical structures which comes from electronic (dance) music. I'd say I am one of the few (if not the only) person on this forum who has a clear understanding of how breakbeat should be done. These things can't be studied in universities. These things are learned listening to that kind of music and making music. I have been finetuning loops and creating rhythms for 15 years.

That's lovely, but completely irrelevant to analyzing and understanding Mahler.

Yes, perhaps I am missing something in Mahler's music but please, give me some time to find it. When I tell what wrong with Mahler in my opinion, others can tell what I am doing wrong.   

Nobody is holding a gun to your head forcing you to provide a Schenkerian analysis of Mahler's 9th by the end of the week. You can do with Mahler what you want, like it dislike it whatever. Just don't come here and post silly claims of Mahler's compositional inferiority when in fact you don't have the knowledge basis to make such claims. Say Mahler is not your cup of tea or you haven't yet found time to fully appreciate him or whatever. But don't say his melodies are poor and his ideas limited, when you don't know what is really going on.
Title: Re: Mahler VS. Elgar Smackdown
Post by: karlhenning on May 01, 2007, 07:24:15 AM
That's lovely, but completely irrelevant to analyzing and understanding Mahler.

Honestly, I think breakbeat is completely irrelevant to analyzing and understanding Elgar, too . . . .
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on May 01, 2007, 07:42:28 AM
How can you understand that "completely," if you do not read the scores, yourself?

Take your time.

If reading scores is the only way to understand music completely, what's the point of listening to it?

For me scores are the media for storing musical data in compressed format. Nothing more.

That's lovely, but completely irrelevant to analyzing and understanding Mahler.

Not irrelevant. Mahler didn't live in an isolated university of different musical laws. Rhythm and harmony are pretty much interchangeable musical dimensions. Our brain process these two things in the same area.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: karlhenning on May 01, 2007, 07:43:29 AM
If reading scores is the only way to understand music completely, what's the point of listening to it?

Thank you for the strawman non-answer.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: karlhenning on May 01, 2007, 07:44:20 AM
Rhythm and harmony are pretty much interchangeable musical dimensions.

It's not every day I read something this ridiculous!
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Florestan on May 01, 2007, 07:44:37 AM
Jesus Christ and Holy Virgin, have mercy on us, poor sinners!

What's got breakbeat and meters and musical events and strong melodies and whatever... got to do with Mahler,  or Elgar or anyone for that matter?

I like what I like, I dislike what I dislike, I never pass judgment on any composer, so help me God!

Raum fuer alle hat die Erde! - Friedrich Schiller *

*) The Earth has room for everyone




Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: karlhenning on May 01, 2007, 07:46:14 AM
What's got breakbeat and meters and musical events and strong melodies and whatever... got to do with Mahler,  or Elgar or anyyone for that matter?

:-)

And check PM, mon ami!
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Charles on May 01, 2007, 07:50:59 AM
. Rhythm and harmony are pretty much interchangeable musical dimensions.

..... which led to .....

It's not every day I read something this ridiculous!

Seconded !!!

Charles
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on May 01, 2007, 07:54:41 AM
It's not every day I read something this ridiculous!

You should read more things "this ridiculous". You could learn something new Karl!

What's got breakbeat and meters and musical events and strong melodies and whatever... got to do with Mahler,  or Elgar or anyone for that matter?

Everything's got to do with everything in the mind of a free-thinker! I look for logical connections between every possible things. That opens unbelievable possibilities for understanding things.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Florestan on May 01, 2007, 07:58:58 AM
Everything's got to do with everything in the mind of a free-thinker!
Ok, my friend! Please explain me the connection between Gustav Mahler,  Hans Memmling and Groucho Marx.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: MishaK on May 01, 2007, 08:03:51 AM
If reading scores is the only way to understand music completely, what's the point of listening to it?

For me scores are the media for storing musical data in compressed format. Nothing more.

Sure, but unless you have perfect pitch and are completely "fluent" in solfege, the score does help massively in understanding what you're hearing and hearing things with new ears when you listen the next time.

Not irrelevant. Mahler didn't live in an isolated university of different musical laws. Rhythm and harmony are pretty much interchangeable musical dimensions. Our brain process these two things in the same area.

Stop! Wait a minute. Earlier you objected to things going "by the book", now you speak of musical laws? Apart from the physics of electromagnetic radiation in the audible spectrum over time, what are these? I don't doubt that all kinds of noise are analyzed by the same part of the brain, but structurally breakbeat will offer only a limited "vocabulary" for analyzing other forms and idioms of music.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on May 01, 2007, 08:07:36 AM
Remember that what I understand completely is conductors interpretation of Elgar's scores.

And how do you know what Elgar's scores are if  you don't read them??? How do you know whether a conductor's intepretation is what the score says? Or do you just "free-think" your way again?
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on May 01, 2007, 08:12:15 AM
Ok, my friend! Please explain me the connection between Gustav Mahler,  Hans Memmling and Groucho Marx.

Three things. That means 3 connections between 2 things:

Gustav Mahler - Hans Memmling
Gustav Mahler - Groucho Marx
Hans Memmling - Groucho Marx.

Unfortunately I don't know yet these connections. Life is too short and I need to prioritise.

I haven't even heard of Hans Memmling. Wikipedia knows Hans Memling (Menlinc), who was a 15th century Flemish painter.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Florestan on May 01, 2007, 08:15:44 AM
Three things. That means 3 connections between 2 things:

Gustav Mahler - Hans Memmling
Gustav Mahler - Groucho Marx
Hans Memmling - Groucho Marx.

Unfortunately I don't know yet these connections. Life is too short and I need to prioritise.

I haven't even heard of Hans Memmling. Wikipedia knows Hans Memling (Menlinc), who was a 15th century Flemish painter.


Precisely. Now, what's the connection between them?
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on May 01, 2007, 08:28:48 AM
Sure, but unless you have perfect pitch and are completely "fluent" in solfege, the sore does help massively in understanding what you're hearing and hearing things with new ears when you listen the next time.

Music is based on relative pitch between notes. No need for perfect pitch.

Stop! Wait a minute. Earlier you objected to things going "by the book", now you speak of musical laws? Apart from the physics of electromagnetic radiation in the audible spectrum over time, what are these? I don't doubt that all kinds of noise are analyzed by the same part of the brain, but structurally breakbeat will offer only a limited "vocabulary" for analyzing other forms and idioms of music.

Musical laws determine what sounds good and what doesn't. Music theory tries to create relatively simple rules for that but can never describe of subtleties of musical laws. When I make music I use the musical laws to guide my while composers with music theory studies used the theories (and perhaps musical laws in some extent).

Breakbeat offers naturally limited tools to analyse other kind of music but limited is better than nothing.

And how do you know what Elgar's scores are if  you don't read them??? How do you know whether a conductor's intepretation is what the score says? Or do you just "free-think" your way again?

I'm not paranoid in this matter. I trust the conductors.

Precisely. Now, what's the connection between them?

I said I don't know! I haven't need these connections in my life! If I need someday I will use my time finding the answers!
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: karlhenning on May 01, 2007, 08:33:38 AM
You should read more things "this ridiculous". You could learn something new Karl!

Oh, but I have, I have! I've learnt that there are no boundaries to your readiness to amuse us all by taking your fuzzy-speak and tacking it onto (drumroll, please):

Free-thinking! Ta-daaaa!

Quote
Everything's got to do with everything in the mind of a free-thinker!

Quote
I look for logical connections between every possible things.

Balderdash! Logic will not be seen in the same house with you.  (I know;  we've spoken on the subject.)
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Israfel the Black on May 01, 2007, 08:33:54 AM
But, before I have heard Mahler's work several times I don't say anything... ...if Mahler hits me then there is Bruckner to be understood...  ;D

I believe Bruckner is easier to understand than Mahler. He is unplagued by elements of grotesque and playful wit to abstract his music (though I enjoy Mahler immensely). I highly suggest trying his 5th, 7th, and then perhaps the 9th. The Celibidache 3rd on EMI is a very personal favorite. I am an admirer of Elgar, and I find the passion of his music only rivaled by none other than Bruckner. He is, to me, perhaps one of the most passionate composers to ever write music. His music is genuinely mature, and rich with harmonies that can only be described as transcendental. I will confess, it took me at least a week for him to truly grab me, but with patience, I think you will find he has some truly rewarding music.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: mahlertitan on May 01, 2007, 08:35:10 AM
I believe Bruckner is easier to understand than Mahler. He is unplagued by elements of grotesque and playful wit to abstract his music (though I enjoy Mahler immensely). I highly suggest trying his 5th, 7th, and then perhaps the 9th. The Celibidache 3rd on EMI is a very personal favorite. I am an admirer of Elgar, and I find the passion of his music only rivaled by none other than Bruckner. He is, to me, perhaps one of the most passionate composers to ever write music. His music is genuinely mature, and rich with harmonies that can only be described as transcendental. I will confess, it took me at least a week for him to truly grab me, but with patience, I think you will find he has some truly rewarding music.

if he doesn't get mahler, what chance do yoou think he will get Bruckner?
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Choo Choo on May 01, 2007, 08:37:39 AM
I will confess, it took me at least a week for [Bruckner] to truly grab me, but with patience, I think you will find he has some truly rewarding music.

"At least a week" ?? :o   It took me years - really, years - before finally I "got" it.

You really should not always expect to get to the bottom of things instantly.  Snap judgements are rarely the best.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: mahlertitan on May 01, 2007, 08:38:59 AM
"At least a week" ?? :o   It took me years - really, years - before finally I "got" it.

You really should not always expect to get to the bottom of things instantly.  Snap judgements are rarely the best.

I agree, enjoying Bruckner is a acquire taste. so far, i only get his 4,7,8,9 symphonies.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Florestan on May 01, 2007, 08:42:46 AM
I said I don't know! I haven't need these connections in my life! If I need someday I will use my time finding the answers!
Don't use your time, it's easy as 1,2,3.

Their family names all starts with M. ;D
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: MishaK on May 01, 2007, 08:43:10 AM
Music is based on relative pitch between notes. No need for perfect pitch.

So I take it you're fluent in solfege and you could write down a melody at first hearing?

Musical laws determine what sounds good and what doesn't. Music theory tries to create relatively simple rules for that but can never describe of subtleties of musical laws. When I make music I use the musical laws to guide my while composers with music theory studies used the theories (and perhaps musical laws in some extent).

Would you care to elaborate on some of these "laws" that theory supposedly misses? What does "good" mean in your first sentence of the above quote? If you haven't studied theory, how do you know what composers study?
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: karlhenning on May 01, 2007, 08:49:25 AM
O Mensch, no don't ask him to elaborate!  This is laughable enough on its own!  :)

Musical laws determine what sounds good and what doesn't. Music theory tries to create relatively simple rules for that but can never describe of subtleties of musical laws. When I make music I use the musical laws to guide my while composers with music theory studies used the theories (and perhaps musical laws in some extent).
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on May 01, 2007, 08:49:43 AM
Don't use your time, it's easy as 1,2,3.

Their family names all starts with M. ;D

I noticed that immediately but that is an irrelevant connection. The real connections are most probably extremely complex.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Israfel the Black on May 01, 2007, 08:50:07 AM
"At least a week" ?? :o   It took me years - really, years - before finally I "got" it.

You really should not always expect to get to the bottom of things instantly.  Snap judgements are rarely the best.

I agree. It is true, however, some composers click sooner with people than others. It took me months before I ever got Schubert. But for me, I find Bruckner similar to Elgar in many respects, and less related to Mahler of whom he is so commonly associated. Aside from the scale and size of their symphonies, they have little in common. I find Bruckner's music is more in spirit with that of Elgar, hence my recommendation to 71 dB.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on May 01, 2007, 08:52:06 AM
I agree. It is true, however, some composers click sooner with people than others. It took me months before I ever got Schubert. But for me, I find Bruckner similar to Elgar in many respects, and less related to Mahler of whom he is so commonly associated. Aside from the scale and size of their symphonies, they have little in common. I find Bruckner's music is more in spirit with that of Elgar, hence my recommendation to 71 dB.

Okay Israfel the Black. Bruckner will be checked in the future...  ;)
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Israfel the Black on May 01, 2007, 08:53:02 AM
 8)
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: karlhenning on May 01, 2007, 08:55:03 AM
One thing's for sure:  threads are a great deal more amusing when 71 dB makes it all about (a) Elgar, (b) complexity, or both  ::)
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Florestan on May 01, 2007, 08:56:06 AM
I noticed that immediately but that is an irrelevant connection.
Believe me, my friend, it's the only connection.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on May 01, 2007, 08:58:02 AM
Believe me, my friend, it's the only connection.

Don't be so sure my friend!
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: karlhenning on May 01, 2007, 08:58:53 AM
Believe me, my friend, it's the only connection.

And being the only, possesses undeniable relevance  0:)

Don't be so sure my friend!

Oh-ho!  We're taking our Freethinking Vitamins, eh?
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Florestan on May 01, 2007, 08:59:03 AM
Don't be so sure my friend!
Well, it would really make my day should you point me to another one. :)
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Choo Choo on May 01, 2007, 09:12:46 AM
I agree. It is true, however, some composers click sooner with people than others. It took me months before I ever got Schubert. But for me, I find Bruckner similar to Elgar in many respects, and less related to Mahler of whom he is so commonly associated. Aside from the scale and size of their symphonies, they have little in common. I find Bruckner's music is more in spirit with that of Elgar, hence my recommendation to 71 dB.

Interesting - considering that there is a direct link between the music of Schubert and Bruckner, in terms of the one influencing the other.

(My point is only that there may be all different connections between musical works, and it may be hazardous to make inferences on the basis of some connections rather than others.)
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on May 01, 2007, 09:12:56 AM
Well, it would really make my day should you point me to another one. :)

Well, they are all artists in their own way. Perhaps the connection is found in that direction? Perhaps they are all famous for the same reasons?
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: BachQ on May 01, 2007, 09:47:32 AM
I have probably heard 5 hours of Mahler's music.

And you've spent 15 hours posting about Mahler's music . . . . . .
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on May 01, 2007, 10:24:23 AM
And you've spent 15 hours posting about Mahler's music . . . . . .


I have listened some Mahler symphonies after that statement so it's closer to 10 hours now.  ;D
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: BachQ on May 01, 2007, 10:44:03 AM
I have listened some Mahler symphonies after that statement so it's closer to 10 hours now.  ;D

Excellent.  One should avoid falling below a one-to-one ratio (1:1) between the amount of time spent discussing a particular composer viz. the amount of time spent listening to a particular composer  ::) . . . . . .
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Israfel the Black on May 01, 2007, 01:29:05 PM
Interesting - considering that there is a direct link between the music of Schubert and Bruckner, in terms of the one influencing the other.

(My point is only that there may be all different connections between musical works, and it may be hazardous to make inferences on the basis of some connections rather than others.)

I didn't exactly just make an inference. I made a reference, because I am interested in exposing another to the works of a great composer. I can't possibly fathom your point. It's the nature of communication. There is nothing hazardous or lost in such an action. If he does not see the same connection that I find in Bruckner and Elgar, he can simply listen to something else. Something to gain, however, is two people who can relate the same interests and perhaps, better understand the music of two great composers. I am simply relating my experiences with the composer to another. How else should one conduct themselves on a forum which discusses classical music? It all seems very sensible to me sir. I respect your inclination toward discretion, but there is little at risk in offering a suggestion on the hope someone will relate the same interests.

As for the direct connection between Bruckner and Schubert, I have not heard or seen so much as that. Perhaps there is some influence, but the only direct connection between Bruckner's music which is popularly understood or known would be of that to Beethoven and Wagner. I would even note the relation between Bach and Bruckner before Schubert, to be sure. Unless of course, you are simply making your own subjective observation, in which case, I will future consider.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Choo Choo on May 01, 2007, 01:33:17 PM
Fine.  Have it your own way.  I am happy to defer to your greater knowledge of Bruckner.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Israfel the Black on May 01, 2007, 01:39:59 PM
Well, if you feel it is necessary. Although I was under the impression we were discussing the value of aesthetic judgment and not so much the composer.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Choo Choo on May 01, 2007, 01:48:28 PM
Not really.  The connections with Schubert, for example, are a matter of record.  Not only did they share the same counterpoint teacher (not at the same time, obviously) but a number of Bruckner's early works, including piano pieces, were, by his own account, heavily influenced by Schubert (and also Schumann).

You can certainly argue that the influence of Beethoven and Wagner was greater on the later compositions - but the issue is not between the influence of Schubert versus the influence of Beethoven, but the influence of Schubert (a matter of record) versus the connection to Elgar (as perceived by you.)  In asserting so confidently the superiority of the latter over the former, you appear to elevate your own judgement over the documentary record.

That is what I meant.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Choo Choo on May 01, 2007, 01:54:18 PM
I should add, I am not saying that there is no merit in the connection to Elgar.  Not at all.  I, for example, find pre-echoes in Bruckner's 3rd Symphony of the minimalist works of Steve Reich and Terry Riley.  However I consider that to be mainly a fact about my own listening experience, and would be very doubtful about asserting it as carrying any significance for the works themselves.

But that's enough Bruckner.  This is supposed to be about Mahler.  Sorry everybody.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Greta on May 01, 2007, 02:07:04 PM
You know what? I'm starting to wonder if I should just retitle this "The Great Mahler Debate" and just start over with a new thread (restricted to Mahler only, no Elgar) to really discuss his music... ;D

Even if we go back to the topic at hand, there'll be 15 pages to read through of endless back-and-forth.

Anyone else like this idea? ;)
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: mahlertitan on May 01, 2007, 02:10:14 PM
You know what? I'm starting to wonder if I should just retitle this "The Great Mahler Debate" and just start over with a new thread (restricted to Mahler only, no Elgar) to really discuss his music... ;D

Even if we go back to the topic at hand, there'll be 15 pages to read through of endless back-and-forth.

Anyone else like this idea? ;)

it's quite fun one way or the other. >: ;D
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: MishaK on May 01, 2007, 02:12:27 PM
I, for example, find pre-echoes in Bruckner's 3rd Symphony of the minimalist works of Steve Reich and Terry Riley. 

Exactly! As I have mentioned on the old board, I find Bruckner fascinating precisely because his music seems to simultaneously contain memories of a very ancient past (the traces of old church music contained in his brass chorales) and looks forward to a more distant future (minimalism, atonality etc.) than any of his contemporaries.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Israfel the Black on May 01, 2007, 02:13:29 PM
Not really.  The connections with Schubert, for example, are a matter of record.  Not only did they share the same counterpoint teacher (not at the same time, obviously) but a number of Bruckner's early works, including piano pieces, were, by his own account, heavily influenced by Schubert (and also Schumann).

You can certainly argue that the influence of Beethoven and Wagner was greater on the later compositions - but the issue is not between the influence of Schubert versus the influence of Beethoven, but the influence of Schubert (a matter of record) versus the connection to Elgar (as perceived by you.)  In asserting so confidently the superiority of the latter over the former, you appear to elevate your own judgement over the documentary record.

That is what I meant.

I am more arguing this notion of a direct connection or influence in the works of Bruckner and Schubert based from your original statement. There may be some influence, as I noted, but your suggestion was as if I should have recognized such influence instantly in my experience with Bruckner when it is not strongly evident in his music, nor commonly known from my experience, and perhaps only in those earlier works. I am sure Bruckner draws on many influences, Schubert included, but I don't usually see the association of the two. Bruckner's use of harmony and counterpoint was an expertise Schubert himself considered himself lacking in, quite the contrary for say Beethoven, Wagner, or even Bach. I would say there is even a stronger influence of an organ savvy Brahms in Bruckner. Once again, I never considered the connection so I shall play closer attention in the future given your sources.

I should add, I am not saying that there is no merit in the connection to Elgar.  Not at all.  I, for example, find pre-echoes in Bruckner's 3rd Symphony of the minimalist works of Steve Reich and Terry Riley.  However I consider that to be mainly a fact about my own listening experience, and would be very doubtful about asserting it as carrying any significance for the works themselves.

But that's enough Bruckner.  This is supposed to be about Mahler.  Sorry everybody.

This is far more in line with what I am talking about in terms of musical relationships. The popular influences of such and such composers are well known, but I am more interested in finding uncanny musical relationships between composers of different eras. I am prone to agree with your assessment of minimalist undertones in the 3rd Symphony, although I am inclined to lean toward a Glass connection over Reich  ;).
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Israfel the Black on May 01, 2007, 02:19:25 PM
Exactly! As I have mentioned on the old board, I find Bruckner fascinating precisely because his music seems to simultaneously contain memories of a very ancient past (the traces of old church music contained in his brass chorales) and looks forward to a more distant future (minimalism, atonality etc.) than any of his contemporaries.

I find the relationship more in his repetitive arpeggios and sense of harmonic rhythm. I may be alone in this department but I don't find Bruckner hinting at much atonality in his works, though I would certainly say he was progressive. He seems more like tonality on overload, this is why I would link him closer to say Philip Glass over Steve Reich.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Choo Choo on May 01, 2007, 02:27:01 PM
I probably expressed myself badly.  At no point did I or do I wish to argue that there is something wrong with making the sort of connection you have been doing.  There may even be some historical basis for the link, in that Bruckner's music was generally well received in 19thC England - his 7th, particularly so - to the extent that at one stage he even entertained fantasies of moving to England "where I am appreciated" (it being a bad time for him in Vienna just then.)  So it is feasible that Elgar may have been exposed to Bruckner's music in the pre-WWI days before anti-German sentiment set in.  I really don't know - for me this is just a speculation.  It's interesting - but a speculation.  The Schubert link to Bruckner, however, is a matter of record (and not just the early works:  I've certainly read critics who claim to hear the influence of Schubert in the later symphonies as well.)
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Choo Choo on May 01, 2007, 02:31:59 PM
You know what? I'm starting to wonder if I should just retitle this "The Great Mahler Debate" and just start over with a new thread (restricted to Mahler only, no Elgar) to really discuss his music... ;D

Even if we go back to the topic at hand, there'll be 15 pages to read through of endless back-and-forth.

Anyone else like this idea? ;)

How about this: the Bruckner piece where the link to minimalism (and I do mean Reich rather than Glass) appears (to me) at its strongest is ... the piano transcription of Symphony no.3 by the 17-year-old Gustav Mahler.

There!  Phew.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: MishaK on May 01, 2007, 02:40:37 PM
I may be alone in this department but I don't find Bruckner hinting at much atonality in his works, though I would certainly say he was progressive. He seems more like tonality on overload, this is why I would link him closer to say Philip Glass over Steve Reich.

Who have you heard in the 9th? A lot of conductors tend to underplay the harmonic clashes in Bruckner, practically balancing them out of existence. But say what you want, the 9th is full of amazing dissonances. That huge clash at the climax of the Adagio could be straight out of the Rite of Spring. Barenboim once observed that when he first heard the Scherzo of the 9th he thought it was some strange Shostakovitch. There is definitely a lot more hints of the future than just minimalism (which there is certainly plenty of in the countless string ostinatos of all of his mature works, the opening of the 3rd that you mention is a great example).
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Israfel the Black on May 01, 2007, 02:41:36 PM
I probably expressed myself badly.  At no point did I or do I wish to argue that there is something wrong with making the sort of connection you have been doing.  There may even be some historical basis for the link, in that Bruckner's music was generally well received in 19thC England - his 7th, particularly so - to the extent that at one stage he even entertained fantasies of moving to England "where I am appreciated" (it being a bad time for him in Vienna just then.)  So it is feasible that Elgar may have been exposed to Bruckner's music in the pre-WWI days before anti-German sentiment set in.  I really don't know - for me this is just a speculation.  It's interesting - but a speculation.  The Schubert link to Bruckner, however, is a matter of record (and not just the early works:  I've certainly read critics who claim to hear the influence of Schubert in the later symphonies as well.)

Indeed, fascinating observation! Once again, I can see the Schubert influence and have acknowledged your sources; my argument was simply that there does not seem to be an undeniable direct connection, insofar as being a primary influence or popularly association.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: mahlertitan on May 01, 2007, 02:42:20 PM
i wouldn't link Bruckner to any other composer, he was a unique case.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: MishaK on May 01, 2007, 02:43:51 PM
i wouldn't link Bruckner to any other composer, he was a unique case.

Given his very direct quotations from Beethoven it is hard not to.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Israfel the Black on May 01, 2007, 02:46:44 PM
Who have you heard in the 9th? A lot of conductors tend to underplay the harmonic clashes in Bruckner, practically balancing them out of existence. But say what you want, the 9th is full of amazing dissonances. That huge clash at the climax of the Adagio could be straight out of the Rite of Spring. Barenboim once observed that when he first heard the Scherzo of the 9th he thought it was some strange Shostakovitch. There is definitely a lot more hints of the future than just minimalism (which there is certainly plenty of in the countless string ostinatos of all of his mature works, the opening of the 3rd that you mention is a great example).

I never questioned his dissonances. Bruckner was very progressive, as I acknowledged. He foreshadowes much of modern music, but not to the degree of atonality. I am not one of those who simply associate one with the other. Mozart could be very dissonant, along with Desprez and Beethoven, yet I wouldn't quite consider them playing with atonality. In fact, quite the contrary. It seemed more as experimenting with the possibility's of tonality. Bruckner can be very dissonant, most certainly, and one of the forerunners. Yet, as I previously mentioned, I see very little instances or suggestions of atonality in Bruckner's music, perhaps not at all.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Israfel the Black on May 01, 2007, 02:48:57 PM
Given his very direct quotations from Beethoven it is hard not to.

Or Wagner for that matter. See thee original the 3rd Symphony GustavMahler. He simply adored Wagner.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Steve on May 01, 2007, 02:51:02 PM
i wouldn't link Bruckner to any other composer, he was a unique case.

No composer is independent of the influence of every other composer. It may be subtle, but its there. I have always seen the styles of Schumann and Brahms in Bruckner.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Israfel the Black on May 01, 2007, 02:55:36 PM
No composer is independent of the influence of every other composer. It may be subtle, but its there. I have always seen the styles of Schumann and Brahms in Bruckner.

Indeed. As have I.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: mahlertitan on May 01, 2007, 03:13:30 PM
No composer is independent of the influence of every other composer. It may be subtle, but its there. I have always seen the styles of Schumann and Brahms in Bruckner.

yeah, my point is that he was not a "progressive" as you guys claim.  He wrote HIS music, he incorporate those passages from Beethoven to show his Admiration for the great composer, but stylistically speaking, all those so called "modern" influences has nothing to do with him being modern. He just wrote the music that way, in a very naive way you can say.
A good example is the scherzo from his 9th symphony, a lot people say that sound a lot like 20th century music, however, i doubt that he wrote that movement trying to create something "new".
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: BachQ on May 01, 2007, 03:15:05 PM
You know what? I'm starting to wonder if I should just retitle this "The Great Mahler Debate" and just start over with a new thread (restricted to Mahler only, no Elgar) to really discuss his music... ;D

Even if we go back to the topic at hand, there'll be 15 pages to read through of endless back-and-forth.

Anyone else like this idea? ;)

It's entirely the threadmaster's fault for allowing the discussion to veer so far afield . . . . . . . .  :D
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: MishaK on May 01, 2007, 03:18:05 PM
yeah, my point is that he was not a "progressive" as you guys claim.  He wrote HIS music, he incorporate those passages from Beethoven to show his Admiration for the great composer, but stylistically speaking, all those so called "modern" influences has nothing to do with him being modern. He just wrote the music that way, in a very naive way you can say.
A good example is the scherzo from his 9th symphony, a lot people say that sound a lot like 20th century music, however, i doubt that he wrote that movement trying to create something "new".

I think you're vastly underestimating the man. May I recommend you get the Harnoncourt 9th with the lecture that includes a performance of the surviving bits of the finale? It is quite illuminating as to the originality of Bruckner's compositional process. I think the image of Bruckner as the accidental provincial idiot savant of Austro-German romanticism is in dire need of revision.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Choo Choo on May 01, 2007, 03:21:30 PM
Every time I open a Bruckner score, the impression I always take away is how clever he was.  How precise and carefully judged his scoring.  There are parts of the score of the 9th that look like the technical blueprints of an advanced super-weapon.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: mahlertitan on May 01, 2007, 03:26:53 PM
I think you're vastly underestimating the man. May I recommend you get the Harnoncourt 9th with the lecture that includes a performance of the surviving bits of the finale? It is quite illuminating as to the originality of Bruckner's compositional process. I think the image of Bruckner as the accidental provincial idiot savant of Austro-German romanticism is in dire need of revision.

i am not questioning Bruckner's originality, but if you want to persuade me that he was not a "provincial idiot", explain to me why he had so little confidence in his own abilities? why so many versions of the same work?
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Israfel the Black on May 01, 2007, 03:28:58 PM
yeah, my point is that he was not a "progressive" as you guys claim.  He wrote HIS music, he incorporate those passages from Beethoven to show his Admiration for the great composer, but stylistically speaking, all those so called "modern" influences has nothing to do with him being modern. He just wrote the music that way, in a very naive way you can say.
A good example is the scherzo from his 9th symphony, a lot people say that sound a lot like 20th century music, however, i doubt that he wrote that movement trying to create something "new".

It seems a bit naive to superimpose one's opinion on the intention of his music, rather than the actual value of the music itself. It's also a bit cliche to reduce Bruckner to the simpleminded non-progressive stereotype that he is so commonly attached. The same argument could most aptly describe the music of Bach. A reserved, near complacent man of faith and homebody who loved the organ -- but who was also undeniably a progressive, influential genius ahead of his time. The same argument could be made on Schubert for that matter. Fortunately, music critics do not use such assumption based merits on analyzing the influence or impact of music, for such knowledge is of course impossible to truly ascertain. Instead, we look at the music itself, and its undeniable attributes. It could be argued, Bruckner was singnificant enough influence on Wellesz and Klenau to further progress their dissonances to the use of atonality. Not to mention Mahler viewed Bruckner as his forerunner, and the former is most certainly a staple of modern music.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Israfel the Black on May 01, 2007, 03:32:53 PM
i am not questioning Bruckner's originality, but if you want to persuade me that he was not a "provincial idiot", explain to me why he had so little confidence in his own abilities? why so many versions of the same work?

How confident was Brahms exactly? Apprehensive at best. Your argument has no weight. Character judgments of his assumed customary habits do little to adjust one's opinion of his genius. I find his humility far more revering and telling of his genius than Wagner and Stravinsky's aristocratic pretensions.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: MishaK on May 01, 2007, 03:36:05 PM
i am not questioning Bruckner's originality, but if you want to persuade me that he was not a "provincial idiot", explain to me why he had so little confidence in his own abilities? why so many versions of the same work?

That's not quite correct. His main concern was to get his works performed in the first place, however bastardized. He accepted a lot of suggestions by conductors who thought his work unplayable as originally written, simply for the sake of getting them performed. Much of these changes involved exactly removing the harmonic clashes Bruckner had written in the original. But his confidence in his own work as originally conceived is evidenced by the fact that he bequested many of his original scores to the Austrian National library. These have been the basis for undoing much of the damage that many of the edits have done to his scores. It wasn't so much lack of confidence as it was a compromise with the artistic tastes of his times for the purpose of getting his work performed at all.

Israfel also raises a good point. Brahms burned so much of his work that he thought inferior, so that we are left with what one might call an unrepresentative sample of works of uniformly exceptional caliber. Beethoven wrote and rewrote dozens of times before he was sufficiently happy with his work to have it published.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Israfel the Black on May 01, 2007, 03:42:30 PM
That's not quite correct. His main concern was to get his works performed in the first place, however bastardized. He accepted a lot of suggestions by conductors who thought his work unplayable as originally written, simply for the sake of getting them performed. Much of these changes involved exactly removing the harmonic clashes Bruckner had written in the original. But his confidence in his own work as originally conceived is evidenced by the fact that he bequested many of his original scores to the Austrian National library. These have been the basis for undoing much of the damage that many of the edits have done to his scores. It wasn't so much lack of confidence as it was a compromise with the artistic tastes of his times for the purpose of getting his work performed at all.

Israfel also raises a good point. Brahms burned so much of his work that he thought inferior, so that we are left with what one might call an unrepresentative sample of works of uniformly exceptional caliber. Beethoven wrote and rewrote dozens of times before he was sufficiently happy with his work to have it published.

Excellent write up! Not to mention it took Brahms 14 years to complete his First Symphony. He cursed himself in the shadow of Beethoven, and as such influence extends to Bruckner, the same could be said for him as well. These masterminds set a standard so high for themselves that they constantly challenged the perfection of their work, while both still maintaining a deep integrity for their music. Beethoven himself revised frantically, and these two greatly influenced composers honor the obsessive perfection in Beethoven tradition.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: MishaK on May 01, 2007, 03:52:59 PM
Excellent write up! Not to mention it took Brahms 14 years to complete his First Symphony. He cursed himself in the shadow of Beethoven, and as such influence extends to Bruckner, the same could be said for him as well. These masterminds set a standard so high for themselves that they constantly challenged the perfection of their work, while both still maintaining a deep integrity for their music. Beethoven himself revised frantically, and these two greatly influenced composers honor the obsessive perfection in Beethoven tradition.

You could go even further: there is no true great artist who is ever really fully content with his work. The ability to produce ever greater masterpieces is grounded in a painful awareness of every minute inadequacy of one's own abilities and the obsession with attempting to overcome these inadequacies.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Steve on May 01, 2007, 03:53:26 PM
Excellent write up! Not to mention it took Brahms 14 years to complete his First Symphony. He cursed himself in the shadow of Beethoven, and as such influence extends to Bruckner, the same could be said for him as well. These masterminds set a standard so high for themselves that they constantly challenged the perfection of their work, while both still maintaining a deep integrity for their music. Beethoven himself revised frantically, and these two greatly influenced composers honor the obsessive perfection in Beethoven tradition.

Yes, I agree, Israfel the Black with much that you have said. History shall judge the merits of compitions, not the artists themselves. If we think of Bruckner as an isolated pragamatist, with no connection whatsoever to the romantic standards of the time , then we deny his role in the development of the genre. Why not simply accept the more plausible explaination, that he was simply that progressive?
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Steve on May 01, 2007, 03:54:29 PM
You could go even further: there is no true great artist who is ever really fully content with his work. The ability to produce ever greater masterpieces is grounded in a painful awareness of every minute inadequacy of one's own abilities and the obsession with attempting to overcome these inadequacies.

Well put, O Mensch. I would add that it is time which is the arbiter of art.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Israfel the Black on May 01, 2007, 04:00:31 PM
Yes, I agree, Israfel the Black with much that you have said. History shall judge the merits of compitions, not the artists themselves. If we think of Bruckner as an isolated pragamatist, with no connection whatsoever to the romantic standards of the time , then we deny his role in the development of the genre. Why not simply accept the more plausible explaination, that he was simply that progressive?

The fact he trained for 40 years before ever writing his first major composition alone shows he revered greatly the art and progressive power of music. I doubt such a staunch advocate of Wagner would not be a forward thinking composer, for Wagner was just that, and to side with him over Brahms, who many would say was more of a reactionary to modernism of the Romantic era. He was deemed as a radical in his time. I imagine he would have change his compositional style if he was simply a complacent who was disinterested in progression.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Steve on May 01, 2007, 04:01:28 PM
Some movements/parts of Mahler symphonies may be complex but over 50 % of what I have heard is not complex. In fact the music sounds like it's in sleep and I am screaming please, wake up!

Complexity is not only the amount of notes/bar, it's about how much music you have per one note.

I don't dislike Mahler. It's just easy listening and I get a little bored for it's simplicity and tediousness.

Why would that be the definition of complexity? Wouldn't one have to consider the structural arrangement of those notes?

Calling Mahler simple and tedious.... I'm dumbfounded.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: Greta on May 01, 2007, 07:20:59 PM
Okay, I have changed the title of this thread. It is now The Great Mahler Debate.

Do continue as you please! Any and all debate about the music is welcome - but please, refrain from personal attacks.  $:)

For discussing events of his life and specifics about his symphonies/lieder, there is the thread - Mahler Mania, Rebooted (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,683.0.html).

Of course, there will be some crossover, but things were getting so heated that it would be quite difficult at this point to get it back on a straight track. So instead, this thread has been set free. Hopefully this was a good idea, I guess we'll see.

Try to behave yourselves, guys. ;)

Right, as you were!
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Greta on May 01, 2007, 09:14:22 PM
Quote
He simply adored Wagner.

I'm listening to Mahler's 5th now, and there are really so many connections between he and Wagner here. Such a landmark symphony for Mahler. The three works I hear strong links with are Tristan, Meistersinger, and Tannhauser and occasionally some Ring. It is very obviously Fascinating.

Tristan, in the exploring of chromaticism, and the Adagietto looks a little back to the Liebestod, and many smaller moments such as several minutes into the Rondo-Finale. But several minutes before the end of the 1st movement are some very good examples. And the end of the movement is quite Wagnerian, Tannhauser comes into play. (Also the Chorale ending of the 5th symphony.)  Meistersinger has some influence at the end of the first mvmt too, and the Scherzo reminds me of "Dance of the Prentices".

I'm only just now really getting into listening to Mahler's 5th and realized these connections, also by coincidence I was recently listening to Wagner overtures in preparation for a concert I'm attending.

In a bio I'm reading, it states that he did indeed "adore" him, and "his Wagner interpretations were considered the marvels of their time". Somehow Wagner has a way of seeping into his interpreters. ;)  But also in the same sentence, he says "Mahler's music remained uninfluenced by the Wagnerian idiom" (this is Egon Gartenberg's book) I don't agree with that. While yes, Mahler was markedly different and unique, I'd say he was very much influenced by Wagner in some of his writing. Especially with the pivotal 5th symphony it shows.

I understand Mahler was also influenced by Bruckner occasionally as well, but I haven't embarked on the Bruckner adventure yet (ach, where to start?) so maybe someone else can comment on that more.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: mahlertitan on May 01, 2007, 09:25:23 PM
I'm listening to Mahler's 5th now, and there are really so many connections between he and Wagner here. Such a landmark symphony for Mahler. The three works I hear strong links with are Tristan, Meistersinger, and Tannhauser and occasionally some Ring. It is very obviously Fascinating.

Tristan, in the exploring of chromaticism, and the Adagietto looks a little back to the Liebestod, and many smaller moments such as several minutes into the Rondo-Finale. But several minutes before the end of the 1st movement are some very good examples. And the end of the movement is quite Wagnerian, Tannhauser comes into play. (Also the Chorale ending of the 5th symphony.)  Meistersinger has some influence at the end of the first mvmt too, and the Scherzo reminds me of "Dance of the Prentices".

I'm only just now really getting into listening to Mahler's 5th and realized these connections, also by coincidence I was recently listening to Wagner overtures in preparation for a concert I'm attending.

In a bio I'm reading, it states that he did indeed "adore" him, and "his Wagner interpretations were considered the marvels of their time". Somehow Wagner has a way of seeping into his interpreters. ;)  But also in the same sentence, he says "Mahler's music remained uninfluenced by the Wagnerian idiom" (this is Egon Gartenberg's book) I don't agree with that. While yes, Mahler was markedly different and unique, I'd say he was very much influenced by Wagner in some of his writing. Especially with the pivotal 5th symphony it shows.

I understand Mahler was also influenced by Bruckner occasionally as well, but I haven't embarked on the Bruckner adventure yet (ach, where to start?) so maybe someone else can comment on that more.

have you seen the movie "Mahler"?
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: Greta on May 01, 2007, 09:40:26 PM
Ken Russell's movie? I did see a funny clip on YouTube of it, the part about Cosima Wagner!

I want to see it very much, but it's pretty hard to get and quite expensive now. Hmm, maybe my rental store would have it, a long shot though. ;)
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on May 02, 2007, 04:26:33 AM
Why would that be the definition of complexity? Wouldn't one have to consider the structural arrangement of those notes?

Calling Mahler simple and tedious.... I'm dumbfounded.

Well, musical complexity is a complex thing.  ;D

The structural arrangement define how much you have music per note. I have my theory of music. I call it the theory of "gravitational fields of sounds."

According to this theory every sound causes a multidimensional  (the dimensions are musical dimensions like timbre, melody, harmony, rhythm, development, etc.) mental gravitational fields in our head. One of these dimension is time. Gravitational fields stretches out in to the past (what just happened) and in the future (what's going to happen). This makes us anticipate certain things from the next sounds. However, the gravitational fields are extremely complex in nature and they work in a multidimensional space.

Good music follows the complex behavior of gravitational fields of sound.

The better a composer is the better he/she understands the nature of these gravitational fields and can use them in sophisticated ways. So, complex music does not mean many notes but sophisticated use of gravitational fields. Sometimes many notes are needed, sometimes not. Because gravitational fields of sounds are so complex and operate in a multidimensional music space, music theories try to chop it up to smaller part in space of fewer dimensions. For example, the theories about counterpoint is just a simplified part of the gravitational fields projected into three-dimensional space (harmony, melody and time).

Mahler seems to have had a not-so-strong understanding of these gravitational fields. That's why he's music can't be extremely complex even if he had million notes per page.

I need a better name for "gravitational fields of sounds". vibrational fields?
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Florestan on May 02, 2007, 04:35:27 AM
Well, musical complexity is a complex thing.  ;D

The structural arrangement define how much you have music per note. I have my theory of music. I call it the theory of "gravitational fields of sounds."

According to this theory every sound causes a multidimensional  (the dimensions are musical dimensions like timbre, melody, harmony, rhythm, development, etc.) mental gravitational fields in our head. One of these dimension is time. Gravitational fields stretches out in to the past (what just happened) and in the future (what's going to happen). This makes us anticipate certain things from the next sounds. However, the gravitational fields are extremely complex in nature and they work in a multidimensional space.

Good music follows the complex behavior of gravitational fields of sound.

The better a composer is the better he/she understands the nature of these gravitational fields and can use them in sophisticated ways. So, complex music does not mean many notes but sophisticated use of gravitational fields. Sometimes many notes are needed, sometimes not. Because gravitational fields of sounds are so complex and operate in a multidimensional music space, music theories try to chop it up to smaller part in space of fewer dimensions. For example, the theories about counterpoint is just a simplified part of the gravitational fields projected into three-dimensional space (harmony, melody and time).

Mahler seems to have had a not-so-strong understanding of these gravitational fields. That's why he's music can't be extremely complex even if he had million notes per page.

I need a better name for "gravitational fields of sounds". vibrational fields?


If this is free-thinking, then I confess I am a slave... and proud of it. ;D
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: karlhenning on May 02, 2007, 04:46:06 AM
Good music follows the complex behavior of gravitational fields of sound.

What a hoot!
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: Choo Choo on May 02, 2007, 04:47:34 AM
What's confusing me - well, one of the things confusing me - is this notion of complexity, and why it should matter so much.

If what you're saying is that sometimes more can be achieved through economy of (focussed) effort rather than a flurry of (unfocussed) activity, I have no problem with that.  I suspect that isn't what you're saying though...  :(
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: karlhenning on May 02, 2007, 04:53:20 AM
If what you're saying is that sometimes more can be achieved through economy of (focussed) effort rather than a flurry of (unfocussed) activity, I have no problem with that.  I suspect that isn't what you're saying though...  :(

That seems to be sort of what he's saying, sometimes.

Only he still wants that to count as "musical complexity"  ;D

"Musical complexity" is such a dizzyingly complex affair, you basically have to be 71 dB to understand it.  But the advantage is, when you are 71 db, you understand it completely   8)
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: 71 dB on May 02, 2007, 05:02:58 AM
What's confusing me - well, one of the things confusing me - is this notion of complexity, and why it should matter so much.

If what you're saying is that sometimes more can be achieved through economy of (focussed) effort rather than a flurry of (unfocussed) activity, I have no problem with that.  I suspect that isn't what you're saying though...  :(

Economy is an important part of sophisticated use of "vibrational fields."

"Musical complexity" is such a dizzyingly complex affair, you basically have to be 71 dB to understand it.  But the advantage is, when you are 71 db, you understand it completely   8)

I doubt I understand everything about it. Just an early theory really.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: Choo Choo on May 02, 2007, 05:06:15 AM
So is it like, say, the contrast between a line drawing by Picasso or Matisse - which manages to create a strong image through the use of a few extremely well chosen and drafted lines - compared with the sort of pencil drawing that I might produce, which might contain a lot of lines but end up not conveying much of an image at all?
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: karlhenning on May 02, 2007, 05:10:54 AM
I doubt I understand everything about it.

An unusually sensible statement, for you.

Again, you have this hang-up on the notion of "complexity" as though that intrinsically means superiority.  That is a peculiar obsession, which is actually antithetical to freethinking, BTW.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: karlhenning on May 02, 2007, 05:13:06 AM
Economy is an important part of sophisticated use of "vibrational fields."

This is arrant poppycock; you're slinging verbiage around without holding yourself in the least intellectually accountable.

Define for us "vibrational fields," please, so that we can attempt a rational discussion of this.

Thanks in advance.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: Choo Choo on May 02, 2007, 05:14:40 AM
Or is it, say, the contrast between the "complexity" of a Rothko painting versus ... oh I don't know ... a Pollock?

Something like the "Seagram" Rothkos which we have here in London, each painting could be described as a very simple pattern of coloured blocks, but both singly and in combination they have the power to evoke complex reactions in the viewer.

I'm trying to understand what the point is here.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: 71 dB on May 02, 2007, 05:15:31 AM
So is it like, say, the contrast between a line drawing by Picasso or Matisse - which manages to create a strong image through the use of a few extremely well chosen and drafted lines - compared with the sort of pencil drawing that I might produce, which might contain a lot of lines but end up not conveying much of an image at all?

Partly it's like that but in music things are very complex. Economy may contradic certain musical dimensions. Say you need an epic ending to your symphony. Economic use of orchestral forces may not give you the result you are after but perhaps it's a good idea to have an economic penultimate movement for dynamic contrast?
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: Florestan on May 02, 2007, 05:21:19 AM
I'm trying to understand what the point is here.

Good luck!
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: lukeottevanger on May 02, 2007, 05:26:20 AM
71 dB, please could you describe in more detail what these 'gravitational fields' are, why a certain approach to them is indicative of quality, how in practical terms they are to be seen in action, and in what ways Mahler fals short in his use of them, whilst Elgar (presumably) is supreme above all other composers?

I'm assuming, naturally, that no musically specific answer will be forthcoming, because it never has been in the past. And of course that is partly because isn't such an answer available, and partly because the whole thing smacks of your making up theories after the fact, to fit with and 'justify' your tastes.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: 71 dB on May 02, 2007, 05:44:08 AM
Define for us "vibrational fields," please, so that we can attempt a rational discussion of this.

Thanks in advance.

I defined it above. Please read what I write if you want to be so critical!
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: karlhenning on May 02, 2007, 05:46:22 AM
I defined it above. Please read what I write if you want to be so critical!

Defined it where?  It should be easy for you to furnish a link.  Should have been easy for you to paste it in afresh.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: karlhenning on May 02, 2007, 05:48:48 AM
Quote
The structural arrangement define how much you have music per note. I have my theory of music. I call it the theory of "gravitational fields of sounds."

According to this theory every sound causes a multidimensional  (the dimensions are musical dimensions like timbre, melody, harmony, rhythm, development, etc.) mental gravitational fields in our head. One of these dimension is time. Gravitational fields stretches out in to the past (what just happened) and in the future (what's going to happen). This makes us anticipate certain things from the next sounds. However, the gravitational fields are extremely complex in nature and they work in a multidimensional space.

Is this what you referred to? Because nothing here defines what a "vibrational field" is.

Still waiting . . . .
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: mahlertitan on May 02, 2007, 05:59:52 AM
Well, musical complexity is a complex thing.  ;D

The structural arrangement define how much you have music per note. I have my theory of music. I call it the theory of "gravitational fields of sounds."

According to this theory every sound causes a multidimensional  (the dimensions are musical dimensions like timbre, melody, harmony, rhythm, development, etc.) mental gravitational fields in our head. One of these dimension is time. Gravitational fields stretches out in to the past (what just happened) and in the future (what's going to happen). This makes us anticipate certain things from the next sounds. However, the gravitational fields are extremely complex in nature and they work in a multidimensional space.

Good music follows the complex behavior of gravitational fields of sound.

The better a composer is the better he/she understands the nature of these gravitational fields and can use them in sophisticated ways. So, complex music does not mean many notes but sophisticated use of gravitational fields. Sometimes many notes are needed, sometimes not. Because gravitational fields of sounds are so complex and operate in a multidimensional music space, music theories try to chop it up to smaller part in space of fewer dimensions. For example, the theories about counterpoint is just a simplified part of the gravitational fields projected into three-dimensional space (harmony, melody and time).



so, what does it have to do with gravity? or what does it have to do with gravitational field? since when is music related to gravitational fields?
it's bad enough you give really bad "arguments", now you are bringing pseudo-science to aid your argument? if none of the above idea has ever been published in any scientific journal, how can anyone believe anything that you are saying?

just one more quesiton: you took physics in highschool right?
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: Choo Choo on May 02, 2007, 06:03:53 AM
Now that this thread has given up all pretence of dealing with Mahler, I feel entitled to post that last night I dipped in (yet again) to Robert Simpson's indispensable book on Bruckner complete with blow-by-blow account of the symphonies.  It's laced with references to Schubert:  not so much (indeed, not at all) in the sense of this Brucknerian theme deriving from that Schubertian one - as in certain distinctive features shared by both.  E.g. in the context of the 6th Symphony, Simpson writes of "Bruckner's beloved strategem of treating a dominant seventh as a German sixth in a new key, a delight he shares with Schubert." (I have no idea what this means.)  The idea of shared background or vocabulary is made more strongly again in his analysis of the String Quintet.

But then, in the section dealing with the E Minor Mass, you find this:  "So far forward does the Sanctus look, that we can find something very like it in Sibelius's Seventh Symphony."  Now there's a connection I'd never have thought of.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: 71 dB on May 02, 2007, 06:09:27 AM
71 dB, please could you describe in more detail what these 'gravitational fields' are, why a certain approach to them is indicative of quality, how in practical terms they are to be seen in action, and in what ways Mahler fals short in his use of them, whilst Elgar (presumably) is supreme above all other composers?

I'm assuming, naturally, that no musically specific answer will be forthcoming, because it never has been in the past. And of course that is partly because isn't such an answer available, and partly because the whole thing smacks of your making up theories after the fact, to fit with and 'justify' your tastes.

These "gravitational fields of sounds" or "vibrational fields" are a simple and complex thing. Our brain creates and processes them automatically. we don't even notice how much calculations is beeing done. It's like face recognition. Our brain needs to do VERY complex calculations in order to recognise a familiar face but we don't notice anything. It's all automatic. Some people can't recognise faces because the part of the brain is damaged.

Okay, I try to explain. Pictures would help but I don't have any. Let's say a C-note is being played on cello. This sound creates a "vibrational field" in our head in many musical dimensions. For example, if we are in C major, the harmonic dimension of this field makes us "expect" perhaps notes E and G being played on other instruments. If some other notes are played, the situation is more complex musically but most probably easily explained somehow. The cello may be playing a certain rhythm. All the notes before this C-note did create their "vibrational field" which are still in effect in time dimension.

Because the "vibrational fields" operate in a multidimensional space the relations between them can be very complex even if the score was simple. It's all about how musically talented the composer is. Conducors and musicians use "vibrational fields" in order to blow life into score. Visually a similar thing happens when we watch stereo images (two 2-dimensional pictures). Our brain is able to calculate a 3-dimensional image out of the compressed information.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: 71 dB on May 02, 2007, 06:13:19 AM
Is this what you referred to? Because nothing here defines what a "vibrational field" is.

Still waiting . . . .

vibrational field is another name for gravitational fields
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: Don on May 02, 2007, 06:13:40 AM
These "gravitational fields of sounds" or "vibrational fields" are a simple and complex thing. Our brain creates and processes them automatically. we don't even notice how much calculations is beeing done. It's like face recognition. Our brain needs to do VERY complex calculations in order to recognise a familiar face but we don't notice anything. It's all automatic. Some people can't recognise faces because the part of the brain is damaged.

Okay, I try to explain. Pictures would help but I don't have any. Let's say a C-note is being played on cello. This sound creates a "vibrational field" in our head in many musical dimensions. For example, if we are in C major, the harmonic dimension of this field makes us "expect" perhaps notes E and G being played on other instruments. If some other notes are played, the situation is more complex musically but most probably easily explained somehow. The cello may be playing a certain rhythm. All the notes before this C-note did create their "vibrational field" which are still in effect in time dimension.

Because the "vibrational fields" operate in a multidimensional space the relations between them can be very complex even if the score was simple. It's all about how musically talented the composer is. Conducors and musicians use "vibrational fields" in order to blow life into score. Visually a similar thing happens when we watch stereo images (two 2-dimensional pictures). Our brain is able to calculate a 3-dimensional image out of the compressed information.

That wraps it up.  I annoint you the Dr. Spock of GMG.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: karlhenning on May 02, 2007, 06:15:04 AM
. . . Simpson writes of "Bruckner's beloved strategem of treating a dominant seventh as a German sixth in a new key, a delight he shares with Schubert." (I have no idea what this means.)

Consider a C Dominant Seventh chord, which is spelled C, E, G, B-flat.  It is a major triad (C, E, G) plus a minor seventh above C (B-flat).  Normally it functions as that chord built on the fifth (dominant) degree of F Major, and resolves to the I (tonic).

There arose a group of chords of the augmented sixth (which is enharmonically equivalent to the interval of a major seventh -- that is, they sound the same, only notationally they are 'spelled' differently).  I won't detail the differences between the Italian, French and German [augmented] Sixth chords, but the German Sixth is enharmonically equivalent to the dominant seventh chord.  Only, in the case of the dominant seventh chord built on C, it is not spelled with a B-flat, nor does it function in the key of F, but it is spelled (say) C, E, G, A#, and C and A# resolve in contrary motion to B's, that is, to the tonic chord of E Minor in second inversion: B, E, G, B.

For fear of being any more confusing, I will stop.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: DavidW on May 02, 2007, 06:15:13 AM
For those wondering what Elgar is talking about, here's the summary--

The listener's response to music heard, and anticipation for what is coming up next he claims can be formulated as a mathematical model parameterized by all the complex things that characterize a work of music.  But he does not formulate this model, or even have any justification for why it would be enlightening in anyway.

I think that you can walk off with the opinion that Elgar thinks that the listener's reception of the music is the most important thing in analyzing music, and it is different from the music itself because the listener's response to the music is as important as the music itself.  In literary theory, it would be called the reader response I think?  Whatever, the jargon he introduces is completely irrelevant to what he is saying, and what he is saying has nothing to do with gravity or vibrations.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: Florestan on May 02, 2007, 06:15:50 AM
By all the saints in Heaven, what's got all this to do with enjoying music?
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: karlhenning on May 02, 2007, 06:16:34 AM
vibrational field is another name for gravitational fields

Nothing there defines what a "gravitational field" is, either.

. . . Whatever, the jargon he introduces is completely irrelevant to what he is saying, and what he is saying has nothing to do with gravity or vibrations.

Thank you  :)
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: Don on May 02, 2007, 06:19:52 AM
By all the saints in Heaven, what's got all this to do with enjoying music?

That's odd - you want to simply enjoy some music?  Then you need to stop dealing with this thread, but be sure that the vibrational field is to your advantage.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: karlhenning on May 02, 2007, 06:21:45 AM
. . . but be sure that the vibrational field is to your advantage.

Which, I am told, is true of all good music.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: Choo Choo on May 02, 2007, 06:24:22 AM
Consider a C Dominant Seventh chord, which is spelled C, E, G, B-flat.  It is a major triad (C, E, G) plus a minor seventh above C (B-flat).  Normally it functions as that chord built on the fifth (dominant) degree of F Major, and resolves to the I (tonic).

There arose a group of chords of the augmented sixth (which is enharmonically equivalent to the interval of a major seventh -- that is, they sound the same, only notationally they are 'spelled' differently).  I won't detail the differences between the Italian, French and German [augmented] Sixth chords, but the German Sixth is enharmonically equivalent to the dominant seventh chord.  Only, in the case of the dominant seventh chord built on C, it is not spelled with a B-flat, nor does it function in the key of F, but it is spelled (say) C, E, G, A#, and C and A# resolve in contrary motion to B's, that is, to the tonic chord of E Minor in second inversion: B, E, G, B.

For fear of being any more confusing, I will stop.

Thank you for the explanation, Karl.  I think I see what you mean...

It's typical of Simpson that he throws in the odd curve ball like that - as if obviously a general readership would be familiar with it - but one develops the habit of filing them under "OK. Right."   and moving on.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on May 02, 2007, 06:25:19 AM
so, what does it have to do with gravity? or what does it have to do with gravitational field? since when is music related to gravitational fields?
it's bad enough you give really bad "arguments", now you are bringing pseudo-science to aid your argument? if none of the above idea has ever been published in any scientific journal, how can anyone believe anything that you are saying?

just one more quesiton: you took physics in highschool right?


Nothing to do with gravity except I visualise them as gravitation fields in my mind.

You are free to reject my ideas. Please, tell your own theories. Don't you have any? If you took my thoughts seriously you could maybe see I am not lost with them. The good thing about my theory is the flexibility. Any music can evaluated, not only classical.

Free thinkers have ideas beyond scientific world. Perhaps my ideas are proven at least partly correct in the future? I'd say increadible advance in cognitive science is needed to prove or disprove my thoughts. So, it's up to you whether you agree with me or not.

I took my physics in highschool. It was one of my favorites. I had top grades in it. In university I naturally had many physics courses as part of my M. Sc. degree.  ;)
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: karlhenning on May 02, 2007, 06:26:55 AM
Thank you for the explanation, Karl.  I think I see what you mean...

It's typical of Simpson that he throws in the odd curve ball like that - as if obviously a general readership would be familiar with it - but one develops the habit of filing them under "OK. Right."   and moving on.

Mind you, the augmented sixth chords have a long history.

Which for instance informs Chopin's elliptical, fleeting reference to the German Sixth at the end of the E Minor Prelude, for instance.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: karlhenning on May 02, 2007, 06:28:43 AM
The good thing about my theory is the flexibility.

It isn't flexible;  it's woolly.

Niffs a bit, too.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: Florestan on May 02, 2007, 06:29:02 AM
That's odd - you want to simply enjoy some music? 
Guilty as charged.

Maybe I am a reactionary, but music for whose understanding I need the latest physical or philosophical theories is not my cup of tea. Luckily Mahler is not in that league.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: Choo Choo on May 02, 2007, 06:31:54 AM
Mind you, the augmented sixth chords have a long history.

Which for instance informs Chopin's elliptical, fleeting reference to the German Sixth at the end of the E Minor Prelude, for instance.

OK.  Right.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: karlhenning on May 02, 2007, 06:35:41 AM
Have I lost you?
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: DavidW on May 02, 2007, 06:37:19 AM
It isn't flexible;  it's woolly.

Niffs a bit, too.


The great thing about string theory is that it's flexible.  The bad thing about string theory is that it's flexible because there are more than 10^500 unique solutions. ;D  Flexibility is overrated.  It translates into vague and unhelpful! :D
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: 71 dB on May 02, 2007, 06:37:57 AM
For those wondering what Elgar is talking about, here's the summary--

The listener's response to music heard, and anticipation for what is coming up next he claims can be formulated as a mathematical model parameterized by all the complex things that characterize a work of music.  But he does not formulate this model, or even have any justification for why it would be enlightening in anyway.

You people assume so much. The mental processes in our head is fuzzy logic, not exact math. My theory is that people have not-so-perfect fuzzy logic for processing vibrational fields and if they develop their understanding of music, the fuzzy logic will improve (=less logical contradictions in multidimensional space). So, every person has their own formulations. People who listen a lot of rhythmic music develop the rhythmic dimension in their fuzzy logic while the melodic dimension perhaps remains undeveloped.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: MishaK on May 02, 2007, 06:48:27 AM
Well, musical complexity is a complex thing.  ;D

The structural arrangement define how much you have music per note. I have my theory of music. I call it the theory of "gravitational fields of sounds."

According to this theory every sound causes a multidimensional  (the dimensions are musical dimensions like timbre, melody, harmony, rhythm, development, etc.) mental gravitational fields in our head. One of these dimension is time. Gravitational fields stretches out in to the past (what just happened) and in the future (what's going to happen). This makes us anticipate certain things from the next sounds. However, the gravitational fields are extremely complex in nature and they work in a multidimensional space.

Good music follows the complex behavior of gravitational fields of sound.

The better a composer is the better he/she understands the nature of these gravitational fields and can use them in sophisticated ways. So, complex music does not mean many notes but sophisticated use of gravitational fields. Sometimes many notes are needed, sometimes not. Because gravitational fields of sounds are so complex and operate in a multidimensional music space, music theories try to chop it up to smaller part in space of fewer dimensions. For example, the theories about counterpoint is just a simplified part of the gravitational fields projected into three-dimensional space (harmony, melody and time).

Mahler seems to have had a not-so-strong understanding of these gravitational fields. That's why he's music can't be extremely complex even if he had million notes per page.

I need a better name for "gravitational fields of sounds". vibrational fields?


This is actually not quite as stupid as it sounds, fraught as it is with confusing vocabulary and a number of misperceptions. But from a purely intuitive approach to music, it is not entirely wrong. What you describe as "gravitational fields" bounded by different variables are actually more important for analyzing the quality of a performance than for analyzing the quality of a work as such. You speak of anticipating the next note. Bernstein used to say that you have to play each note such that it sounds unexpected but in retrospect seems like that is the only way it could have been played - an initial surprise that sounds inevitable in retrospect. Barenboim likes to point out that you can't play an exposition repeat or a restatement in a classical sonata form the same way as the first exposition, because of all the stuff that happened in between - the restatement or repeat must contain within it a memory of what preceded and an anticipation of what is yet to come. But all of these are considerations for the performer in answering the question "how do I make this piece of music make sense to the audience'? It is akin to the actor playing Hamlet who has to portray a plausible character development over the course of the performance. Just reciting the text in monotone won't cut it. This is why earlier in the thread I asked you why you refuse to read scores, because that is the way of checking whether the flaws you hear are flaws of performance or composition.

But at any rate, how a given composer realizes his artistic vision will vary and the tools of analysis for one may not be appropriate for another. Harmonic development may be irrelevant in a piece by Debussy, who likes to stay within the same harmonically unaltered and undefined sphere from beginning to end. thematic development is irrelevant in Messiaen with his blocks of sound. You can't therefore speak of one single set of laws that apply across the board. Music theory certainly does not chop things up into distinct elements. Variables like pitch (which includes harmonic relationships), dynamics, rhythm and tempo are quite simply the basic variables of musical notation. How they interrelate in a given piece is certainly what matters, but to say that music theory doesn't recognize this is really showing a lack of understanding of music theory. But again, ultimately it is up to the performer to make sense of these interrelationships.

Finally, complexity as such cannot be a positive in and of itself. Take Prelude No.1 from Book 1 of the Well Tempered Clavier. A paragon of simplicity, yet a world of wonder is contained within the minute harmonic shifts of this simple work. Conversely, superficially complex works can actually have very simple frameworks. E.g. Strauss' Till Eulenspiegel. Sounds very dense but is built entirely out of two simple themes, one ascending, one descending, but very cleverly orchestrated to vividly paint the adventures of the main character in all teh colors of the orchestra. Likewise, complexity may be excess. Did Rachmaninov really need all those notes to make his point? I don't think you really have any idea of what is going on in Mahler yet.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: knight66 on May 02, 2007, 07:02:14 AM
You people assume so much. The mental processes in our head is fuzzy logic, not exact math. My theory is that people have not-so-perfect fuzzy logic for processing vibrational fields and if they develop their understanding of music, the fuzzy logic will improve (=less logical contradictions in multidimensional space). So, every person has their own formulations. People who listen a lot of rhythmic music develop the rhythmic dimension in their fuzzy logic while the melodic dimension perhaps remains undeveloped.

I think there is a ready solution to all of this, trepanning.....twice.

Mike
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: Choo Choo on May 02, 2007, 07:06:20 AM
Have I lost you?

Karl, it was meant as a joke.  Not a very good one.  Sorry.  :'(
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on May 02, 2007, 07:15:37 AM
This is actually not quite as stupid as it sounds, fraught as it is with confusing vocabulary and a number of misperceptions. But from a purely intuitive approach to music, it is not entirely wrong. What you describe as "gravitational fields" bounded by different variables are actually more important for analyzing the quality of a performance than for analyzing the quality of a work as such. You speak of anticipating the next note. Bernstein used to say that you have to play each note such that it sounds unexpected but in retrospect seems like that is the only way it could have been played - an initial surprise that sounds inevitable in retrospect. Barenboim likes to point out that you can't play an exposition repeat or a restatement in a classical sonata form the same way as the first exposition, because of all the stuff that happened in between - the restatement or repeat must contain within it a memory of what preceded and an anticipation of what is yet to come. But all of these are considerations for the performer in answering the question "how do I make this piece of music make sense to the audience'? It is akin to the actor playing Hamlet who has to portray a plausible character development over the course of the performance. Just reciting the text in monotone won't cut it. This is why earlier in the thread I asked you why you refuse to read scores, because that is the way of checking whether the flaws you hear are flaws of performance or composition.

You can't have surprises without expectations. Note D surprises if you anticipated C. Another things is that I don't think every note should surprise. Who wants 100 surprises every minute? Maybe bigger blocks and structures should be surprising. A surprising melody perhaps? The retrospective aspect is very important. Surprises that sound inevitable in retrospect are very satisfying.

I don't have scores, that's why I can't study them. Buying them is way beyond my financial possibities.

But at any rate, how a given composer realizes his artistic vision will vary and the tools of analysis for one may not be appropriate for another. Harmonic development may be irrelevant in a piece by Debussy, who likes to stay within the same harmonically unaltered and undefined sphere from beginning to end. thematic development is irrelevant in Messiaen with his blocks of sound. You can't therefore speak of one single set of laws that apply across the board. Music theory certainly does not chop things up into distinct elements. Variables like pitch (which includes harmonic relationships), dynamics, rhythm and tempo are quite simply the basic variables of musical notation. How they interrelate in a given piece is certainly what matters, but to say that music theory doesn't recognize this is really showing a lack of understanding of music theory. But again, ultimately it is up to the performer to make sense of these interrelationships.

Composers weight different dimensions. They use subspaces or limited spaces of the real space. That's not a big problem as long as they manage their selected dimensions well.

Finally, complexity as such cannot be a positive in and of itself. Take Prelude No.1 from Book 1 of the Well Tempered Clavier. A paragon of simplicity, yet a world of wonder is contained within the minute harmonic shifts of this simple work. Conversely, superficially complex works can actually have very simple frameworks. E.g. Strauss' Till Eulenspiegel. Sounds very dense but is built entirely out of two simple themes, one ascending, one descending, but very cleverly orchestrated to vividly paint the adventures of the main character in all teh colors of the orchestra. Likewise, complexity may be excess. Did Rachmaninov really need all those notes to make his point? I don't think you really have any idea of what is going on in Mahler yet.

Prelude No.1 from Book 1 of the Well Tempered Clavier is not simple in the form of vibrational fields.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: 71 dB on May 02, 2007, 07:20:41 AM
Btw, I listened Mahler 6 today. It's one of my favorites so far. I especially liked the third movement.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: Choo Choo on May 02, 2007, 07:22:26 AM
I don't have scores, that's why I can't study them. Buying them is way beyond my financial possibities.

Is it?  That's a pity.  Over here you can get a "study score" of most works for about the price of 1-2 CDs.

I have to say, I've learned a hell of a lot from scores - even (or especially) about works which I thought I knew well - and even if I don't understand everything that's going on - it's amazing what you can pick up that you hadn't realised.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: karlhenning on May 02, 2007, 07:24:56 AM
Karl, it was meant as a joke.  Not a very good one.  Sorry.  :'(

No worries!

I don't have scores, that's why I can't study them. Buying them is way beyond my financial possibities.

That's why God made libraries.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: Israfel the Black on May 02, 2007, 07:38:48 AM
Now that this thread has given up all pretence of dealing with Mahler, I feel entitled to post that last night I dipped in (yet again) to Robert Simpson's indispensable book on Bruckner complete with blow-by-blow account of the symphonies.  It's laced with references to Schubert:  not so much (indeed, not at all) in the sense of this Brucknerian theme deriving from that Schubertian one - as in certain distinctive features shared by both.  E.g. in the context of the 6th Symphony, Simpson writes of "Bruckner's beloved strategem of treating a dominant seventh as a German sixth in a new key, a delight he shares with Schubert." (I have no idea what this means.)  The idea of shared background or vocabulary is made more strongly again in his analysis of the String Quintet.

But then, in the section dealing with the E Minor Mass, you find this:  "So far forward does the Sanctus look, that we can find something very like it in Sibelius's Seventh Symphony."  Now there's a connection I'd never have thought of.

I'm sure the book was able to draw on comparisons throughout all of classical music to Bruckner's work. I read one article where Schoenberg was compared to that of Bruckner in his attempt to invoke an almost religious, euphoric like statement through his music. Although I wouldn't exactly call that particular Schubert excerpt a comparison of their music so much as drawing on a similarity in Bruckner's use of key for a particular symphony (I assume this is what you were saying). I would agree that Sibelius development, particularly the Seventh, however, inclines to draw on the influence of Bruckner.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: Choo Choo on May 02, 2007, 08:01:50 AM
I'm sure the book was able to draw on comparisons throughout all of classical music to Bruckner's work. I read one article where Schoenberg was compared to that of Bruckner in his attempt to invoke an almost religious, euphoric like statement through his music. Although I wouldn't exactly call that particular Schubert excerpt a comparison of their music so much as drawing on a similarity in Bruckner's use of key for a particular symphony (I assume this is what you were saying). I would agree that Sibelius development, particularly the Seventh, however, inclines to draw on the influence of Bruckner.

No no no - this is not the same.  Simpson is just making some observations about common pieces of vocabulary to be found in Bruckner's work as in Schubert's.  You seem to wish to deny this.  I really could not care less either way, I am simply reporting what I have read.  As I said many posts ago:  have it your own way.  I wish I had stopped then - and I certainly will stop now.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: 71 dB on May 02, 2007, 08:04:16 AM
Is it?  That's a pity.  Over here you can get a "study score" of most works for about the price of 1-2 CDs.

I have to say, I've learned a hell of a lot from scores - even (or especially) about works which I thought I knew well - and even if I don't understand everything that's going on - it's amazing what you can pick up that you hadn't realised.

Perhaps I could try to get the score for Elgar's 2nd symphony and see if I can understand anything about it.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: karlhenning on May 02, 2007, 08:04:58 AM
Perhaps I could try to get the score for Elgar's 2nd symphony and see if I can understand anything about it.

Yes, you might learn something.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: mahlertitan on May 02, 2007, 08:06:52 AM
I took my physics in highschool. It was one of my favorites. I had top grades in it. In university I naturally had many physics courses as part of my M. Sc. degree.  ;)


it's confusing, if you want to come up a theory describing music, don't use "gravitational field", because that is a topic in physics, and you are confusing me over the two. Come up with another name for it, more musical.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on May 02, 2007, 08:08:56 AM
Consider a C Dominant Seventh chord, which is spelled C, E, G, B-flat.  It is a major triad (C, E, G) plus a minor seventh above C (B-flat).  Normally it functions as that chord built on the fifth (dominant) degree of F Major, and resolves to the I (tonic).

There arose a group of chords of the augmented sixth (which is enharmonically equivalent to the interval of a major seventh -- that is, they sound the same, only notationally they are 'spelled' differently).  I won't detail the differences between the Italian, French and German [augmented] Sixth chords, but the German Sixth is enharmonically equivalent to the dominant seventh chord.  Only, in the case of the dominant seventh chord built on C, it is not spelled with a B-flat, nor does it function in the key of F, but it is spelled (say) C, E, G, A#, and C and A# resolve in contrary motion to B's, that is, to the tonic chord of E Minor in second inversion: B, E, G, B.

For fear of being any more confusing, I will stop.

So the same chord (C- E -G -A#/B-b) resolves either into F major or E minor. Doesn't your ear pick up the fact that the resolution into E-minor is "wrong"? The natural resolution is into F-major right?
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: karlhenning on May 02, 2007, 08:11:41 AM
So the same chord (C- E -G -A#/B-b) resolves either into F major or E minor. Doesn't your ear pick up the fact that the resolution into E-minor is "wrong"?

Interesting question.  Certainly you hear that the resolution is otherwise than V7-I in F Major.  Is that "wrong"? . . .

Quote
The natural resolution is into F-major right?

Not sure that any one resolution is more natural than another; that's out of my text :-)

In any event, one hears examples of both resolutions in the literature.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Florestan on May 02, 2007, 08:12:17 AM

it's confusing, if you want to come up a theory describing music, don't use "gravitational field", because that is a topic in physics, and you are confusing me over the two. Come up with another name for it, more musical.

May I suggest gravicemballical field?
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on May 02, 2007, 08:12:24 AM

it's confusing, if you want to come up a theory describing music, don't use "gravitational field", because that is topic in physics, and you are confusing me over the two. Come up with another name for it, more musical.

I agree. There are terms that you think sound "cool" but in physics and mathematics has very precise definitions. You can argue that "but I want term xyz to mean this or that" but that is like pointing to a pig and saying "I want to call it a cow".
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: karlhenning on May 02, 2007, 08:16:56 AM
I agree. There are terms that you think sound "cool" but in physics and mathematics has very precise definitions. You can argue that "but I want term xyz to mean this or that" but that is like pointing to a pig and saying "I want to call it a cow".

(http://www.ebbemunk.dk/alice/73a_humpty-dumpty.jpg)

Quote
`When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, `it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less.'
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on May 02, 2007, 08:23:48 AM
Interesting question.  Certainly you hear that the resolution is otherwise than V7-I in F Major.  Is that "wrong"? . . .

Not wrong by any means, certainly more daring harmonically.

Not sure that any one resolution is more natural than another; that's out of my text :-)

In any event, one hears examples of both resolutions in the literature.
I suppose a better question to ask would be would the resolution into F-major be more commonplace? What would a composer like Schubert or Beethoven have done?
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on May 02, 2007, 08:24:54 AM
May I suggest gravicemballical field?

I use vibrational field.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: karlhenning on May 02, 2007, 08:27:36 AM
I suppose a better question to ask would be would the resolution into F-major be more commonplace? What would a composer like Schubert or Beethoven have done?

Good, that is right.  Schubert and Beethoven [would have] used the augmented-sixth chords quite sparingly.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: karlhenning on May 02, 2007, 08:28:26 AM
I use vibrational field.

You haven't paid attention, have you?
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: uffeviking on May 02, 2007, 08:52:42 AM


The structural arrangement define how much you have music per note.

As an admirer of Gustav Mahler's music I can't resist joining here. I watched the very educational DVD about György Kurtág and Peter Eötvös. In the Kurtág section he demonstrates what is music by tapping one key on his keyboard, which move is music, so he states. Listening to it, all I heard was the sound of one note no music. If this is what you advocate with your 'theory', I am so grateful Mahler used more than one note to create his beautiful music!  ;D
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on May 02, 2007, 09:01:00 AM
You haven't paid attention, have you?

I haven't paid attention because I was watching TV.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: MishaK on May 02, 2007, 09:05:08 AM
I haven't paid attention because I was watching TV.

That may cause chronic damage preventing careful understanding of Mahler.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: karlhenning on May 02, 2007, 09:05:53 AM
I haven't paid attention because I was watching TV.

That explains so very much.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on May 02, 2007, 09:06:25 AM
I don't watch TV. To me there is nothing more boring than TV.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: karlhenning on May 02, 2007, 09:07:22 AM
I don't watch TV. To me there is nothing more boring than TV.

Oh, but it's actually so very complex, you see . . . .
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: 71 dB on May 02, 2007, 09:10:49 AM
I don't watch TV. To me there is nothing more boring than TV.

Reality shows are usually very boring and crappy but I was watching a Finnish scientific quiz "Einstein". Later this evening I will watch The Mythbusters.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: MishaK on May 02, 2007, 09:22:28 AM
You can't have surprises without expectations. Note D surprises if you anticipated C. Another things is that I don't think every note should surprise. Who wants 100 surprises every minute? Maybe bigger blocks and structures should be surprising. A surprising melody perhaps? The retrospective aspect is very important. Surprises that sound inevitable in retrospect are very satisfying.

But again, you realize we are talking about performance style, not compositional structure?

I don't have scores, that's why I can't study them. Buying them is way beyond my financial possibities.

They're often cheaper than the CDs you buy, so I doubt that.

Composers weight different dimensions. They use subspaces or limited spaces of the real space. That's not a big problem as long as they manage their selected dimensions well.

If only any of this made any sense. Absent any useable definitions of the terms you use, this remains gobbledygook. What is "real space" now?

Prelude No.1 from Book 1 of the Well Tempered Clavier is not simple in the form of vibrational fields.

Please explain.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: Steve on May 02, 2007, 10:02:13 AM
Oh, but it's actually so very complex, you see . . . .

No, I'm afraid not sir. All TV consists of variations of the same tales. You want originality, go see Sophocles at the Goodman.  :)
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: mahlertitan on May 02, 2007, 10:14:00 AM
Later this evening I will watch The Mythbusters.

I only watch these programs on tv/laptop:
Mythbusters
Colbert Report
Family Guy
PBS - "Great Performances"
Baseball

Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: greg on May 02, 2007, 10:28:25 AM
His music can run very deep. But for me, I find it kind of comes up and hits me when I'm not looking! I think you have to be in the right mood for him to really speak to you. On the surface his music is obviously pretty stuff, but I think, like with any composer, some people just connect with the deep ideas he tried to express and others don't. There are certainly many composers I don't "get" that a lot of other people do!
yep, that's the way it works; it has to be somewhat spontaneous, and you can't be judgemental if you're going to try to enjoy it.
actually, I have a memory about that same Adagio movement you were talking about- once in English class last year, the thing just popped into my head spontaneously, and I was so overwhelmed that when it came time for the whole class to work quietly on an assignment, I just couldn't. Instead, I savored the moment, enjoying the music....  0:)

but if you go about thinking, "okay, here comes the adagio movement, it's supposed to be soft and stuff", it actually can ruin it if you think about it that way rather than just enjoying the music. It's using the wrong part (rational, analyzing) of the brain while listening.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: Don on May 02, 2007, 10:36:29 AM
I don't watch TV. To me there is nothing more boring than TV.

What did Mahler think of watching TV shows?
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: greg on May 02, 2007, 10:44:39 AM
I think the best way to describe the "spectrum of events" in music is to use language as an example. Cross culturally, languages as a rule have one outstanding aspect of complexity. English has orthographic stumbling blocks; Chinese is relatively simple grammatically but has a few thousand characters; German has all those confounding endings, and so on.  Western tonal music has harmony and melody. "Events" are not necessarily measured in notes but underground even techtonic changes. (This is really such a large subject that I fain from even trying to describe it...)
This is a totally different subject, but I have to comment on this since this is the stuff that really interests me.  ;D

The more I think about it, it seems to me that every language is equally difficult to learn, if you plan to be able to speak AND write it. It seems for everything easy that there is for a language, there's also something hard.

I've read about Chinese grammar. To put it simply, there's not much to read, lol. There's no articles and no inflections to indicate tense (just one word, which means there is no such thing as an "irregular verb"  :o ). Simplest grammar of any language I've ever known about. However...... it has tones, which make conversation very hard, and also there's what, 5 or 6 thousand characters you need to know? The good news is that they usually have only 1 or 2 readings, unlike Japanese, which can be a real pain (and yeah, that's one of the very few things that is hard about Japanese).

English, as you said, is totally messed up when it comes to spelling- you know it's messed up when you see grownups making spelling mistakes all the time, and hearing people pronounce "often" as "often" instead of "offen". What's easy about English is that it's hardly inflected at all, and there's no "gender" rule or irregular plurals, except for stuff like "sheep" and "sheep", "ox" and "oxen", etc. which comes from old German, i think.

Spanish is possibly the easiest language to in the world when it comes to writing, or at least the easiest I know. But it makes up for it by a lot harder to speak than you'd think (almost every sentence feels like a tongue twister), and it has a bunch of dumb verb endings, genders, stuff like that that most Romance or European languages have, and the grammar isn't that easy.

Just weird, I've thought, how the difficulty sorta balances out...

Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: The Mad Hatter on May 02, 2007, 11:13:39 AM

They're often cheaper than the CDs you buy, so I doubt that.


Um...Mahler's 8th Symphony: CD €10, score €25. Just comparing one CD I own with the lowest price I could find for the score.

Sheet music is expensive...
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: karlhenning on May 02, 2007, 11:19:19 AM
Um...Mahler's 8th Symphony: CD €10, score €25. Just comparing one CD I own with the lowest price I could find for the score.

That's the lowest price you could scare up?

http://store.doverpublications.com/by-subject-music.html

Symphony No. 8, $10.95 (http://store.doverpublications.com/0486419088.html)

At that price, I don't know that you could find a CD cheaper  8)
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: greg on May 02, 2007, 11:26:37 AM
What did Mahler think of watching TV shows?
he liked Heroes, Everybody Hates Chris, Smallville, anime shows, George Lopez, King of Queens, and HATED 7th Heaven. His favorite show growing up was Digimon, and still thinks it's cool.
our souls are connected in the universe  0:)
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: karlhenning on May 02, 2007, 11:29:27 AM
Greg, I've got news for you, and I hope you're sitting down.

Mahler's favorite show is Three's Company.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: Florestan on May 02, 2007, 11:44:04 AM
Greg, I've got news for you, and I hope you're sitting down.

Mahler's favorite show is Three's Company.

And I guess Wagner would have loved Desperate Wives...  ;D
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: greg on May 02, 2007, 11:44:55 AM
Greg, I've got news for you, and I hope you're sitting down.

Mahler's favorite show is Three's Company.
I don't even remember that show.... have I even watched it?
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: Steve on May 02, 2007, 11:48:45 AM
I don't even remember that show.... have I even watched it?

Don't  :)
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: Sergeant Rock on May 02, 2007, 11:49:48 AM
Greg, I've got news for you, and I hope you're sitting down.

Mahler's favorite show is Three's Company.

That's true, Greg. Like many Jewish men, Mahler was hopelessly attracted to blonde Schiksas

(http://www.johnmigliore.com/company.jpg)

Sarge
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: greg on May 02, 2007, 11:52:42 AM
That's true, Greg. Like many Jewish men, Mahler was hopelessly attracted to blonde Schiksas.

Sarge
but i don't think he cared for blondes..... he married a brunette
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: Sergeant Rock on May 02, 2007, 11:55:19 AM
but i don't think he cared for blondes..... he married a brunette

But all his girlfriends were blonde. He had to marry a woman his mother would approve of.

Sarge
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: mahlertitan on May 02, 2007, 09:13:15 PM
Gustav liked the blondes, i know that much.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: zamyrabyrd on May 02, 2007, 10:10:18 PM
This is a totally different subject, but I have to comment on this since this is the stuff that really interests me.  ;D

The more I think about it, it seems to me that every language is equally difficult to learn, if you plan to be able to speak AND write it. It seems for everything easy that there is for a language, there's also something hard.


 Language and Music might be a good subject for the Diner.

What I was hoping to say in a few short paragraphs (impossible, though) that defining spectrum of events might be different cross-culturally in music as it is in language. In tonal music as in a Mahlerian Symphony events are usually harmonic, rather than polyrhythmic, for instance. The proportional shape of a motive usually remains the same even if it is fragmented, augmented or subject to dimunition. In fugues this is what makes a theme recognizable.

In other words, one usually doesn't have to deal with complexity on all levels, some fields are relatively stable or simpler. There seems to be a similarity to language in this respect cross-culturally. I still think 71db's idea, "spectrum of events" in music might be an interesting subject.

ZB
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: greg on May 03, 2007, 04:10:36 AM
Language and Music might be a good subject for the Diner.

What I was hoping to say in a few short paragraphs (impossible, though) that defining spectrum of events might be different cross-culturally in music as it is in language. In tonal music as in a Mahlerian Symphony events are usually harmonic, rather than polyrhythmic, for instance. The proportional shape of a motive usually remains the same even if it is fragmented, augmented or subject to dimunition. In fugues this is what makes a theme recognizable.

In other words, one usually doesn't have to deal with complexity on all levels, some fields are relatively stable or simpler. There seems to be a similarity to language in this respect cross-culturally. I still think 71db's idea, "spectrum of events" in music might be an interesting subject.

ZB
That's pretty interesting, I wonder if they teach stuff like that in music school. I wonder what language Babbitt could be compared to, having a spectrum of events that changes constantly, in all fields (harmony, rhythm, dynamics, tone color, etc.). Maybe the language of unicorns?
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on May 03, 2007, 06:13:12 AM
I still think 71db's idea, "spectrum of events" in music might be an interesting subject.

ZB

My initial motivation to come up with this concept was realising that so called popular or commercial music doesn't have much long or short events and everything happens in medium time frame. The spectrum of events is narrow. More sophisticated music like classical has broader spectrum. There are lots of long events like development of thematic material and short events as well. It takes more effort from a listener to follow long and short events simultanuously. this "difficulty" makes music much more interesting at least for me.

If we have say 5 "event frequency" points in our spectrum we might have for a pop track:

Very long events: 1 %
Long events: 8 %
Medium length events: 70 %
Short events: 20 %
Very short events: 1 %

For a classical piece the spectrum would be much more balanced, perhaps:

Very long events: 15 %
Long events: 22 %
Medium length events: 25 %
Short events: 21 %
Very short events: 17 %
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: MishaK on May 03, 2007, 06:19:49 AM
My initial motivation to come up with this concept was realising that so called popular or commercial music doesn't have much long or short events and everything happens in medium time frame. The spectrum of events is narrow. More sophisticated music like classical has broader spectrum. There are lots of long events like development of thematic material and short events as well. It takes more effort from a listener to follow long and short events simultanuously. this "difficulty" makes music much more interesting at least for me.

If we have say 5 "event frequency" points in our spectrum we might have for a pop track:

Very long events: 1 %
Long events: 8 %
Medium length events: 70 %
Short events: 20 %
Very short events: 1 %

For a classical piece the spectrum would be much more balanced, perhaps:

Very long events: 15 %
Long events: 22 %
Medium length events: 25 %
Short events: 21 %
Very short events: 17 %

How do you define "event" and how do you define "long"? What is an event? One figure of an ostinato pattern in a Bruckner symphony may be one short event that is but one element of a very long event which is the exposition section, which may be made up of several less long events. Classical music is full of ideas within ideas within ideas. Its wealth derives exactly from the possibility of looking at it simultaneously through a microscope and a telescope.

An entire cycle by Zinman, Sym no 1 is just available. The new Baremboim 9th. Another 9th Sinopoli, I think never previously issued. A new Mahler 1 Jansons with the Concertgbouw, a new Chicago SO No 2 from Haitink, a reissue of Rattle's Das Lied from EMI. Apart from this we know Boulez is recording the 8th. And so it goes.

The Haitink/CSO is a No.3, not No.2. I guarantee it will be outstandingly excellent, as I was at the concert when this was recorded. The Barenboim 9 is also fantastic. See also this discussion (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,526.0.html).
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: Israfel the Black on May 03, 2007, 06:36:50 AM
My initial motivation to come up with this concept was realising that so called popular or commercial music doesn't have much long or short events and everything happens in medium time frame. The spectrum of events is narrow. More sophisticated music like classical has broader spectrum. There are lots of long events like development of thematic material and short events as well. It takes more effort from a listener to follow long and short events simultanuously. this "difficulty" makes music much more interesting at least for me.

If we have say 5 "event frequency" points in our spectrum we might have for a pop track:

Very long events: 1 %
Long events: 8 %
Medium length events: 70 %
Short events: 20 %
Very short events: 1 %

For a classical piece the spectrum would be much more balanced, perhaps:

Very long events: 15 %
Long events: 22 %
Medium length events: 25 %
Short events: 21 %
Very short events: 17 %

The difficulty in such a comparative analysis is the fact that a pop song is merely a 3 to 5 minute track of a single musical idea. This is not an inferior form of construction, as it roots from the Art Songs of the early Romantics. It would be more respective to compare let's say a symphony, an opera, or a complete full size orchestral work, which usually consists of about 45 minutes to an hour of music, to a full-length pop rock album. The spectrum of events, so to speak, would be slightly more reasonable to compare in this case. I view modern albums as the equivalent of musical suites or song cycles in terms of scale and creation. Therefore, to be fair, a song from say Schubert's Winterreise, when compared to a song from Radiohead's OK Computer, would likely contain a slightly less balanced spectrum of events to the latter.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: mahlertitan on May 03, 2007, 06:42:00 AM
My initial motivation to come up with this concept was realising that so called popular or commercial music doesn't have much long or short events and everything happens in medium time frame. The spectrum of events is narrow. More sophisticated music like classical has broader spectrum. There are lots of long events like development of thematic material and short events as well. It takes more effort from a listener to follow long and short events simultanuously. this "difficulty" makes music much more interesting at least for me.

If we have say 5 "event frequency" points in our spectrum we might have for a pop track:

Very long events: 1 %
Long events: 8 %
Medium length events: 70 %
Short events: 20 %
Very short events: 1 %

For a classical piece the spectrum would be much more balanced, perhaps:

Very long events: 15 %
Long events: 22 %
Medium length events: 25 %
Short events: 21 %
Very short events: 17 %

did you get these data from the "Spectrum-meter"?
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: karlhenning on May 03, 2007, 06:44:31 AM
did you get these data from the "Spectrum-meter"?

The same measuring device wherewith he determined that he uses 10x as much of his brain to listen to Elgar as to Sibelius  8)
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: Florestan on May 03, 2007, 06:49:41 AM
I wonder what very long events might mean for a 3-minutes pop music piece.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: greg on May 03, 2007, 06:50:32 AM
The same measuring device wherewith he determined that he uses 10x as much of his brain to listen to Elgar as to Sibelius  8)
makes me wonder how he even understands Elgar  :o
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: karlhenning on May 03, 2007, 07:02:55 AM
I wonder what very long events might mean for a 3-minutes pop music piece.

Letting the high-hat ring?  8)
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on May 03, 2007, 07:03:02 AM
How do you define "event" and how do you define "long"? What is an event? One figure of an ostinato pattern in a Bruckner symphony may be one short event that is but one element of a very long event which is the exposition section, which may be made up of several less long events. Classical music is full of ideas within ideas within ideas. Its wealth derives exactly from the possibility of looking at it simultaneously through a microscope and a telescope.

Straighforward technical way to detect events is to use some kind of modified Cepstral (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cepstrum) analysis. Perhaps even as simple method as Spectral analysis to squared (=power signal) and low-pass filtered audio signal would do the trick.

Mentally we detect the events pretty much automatically. Every event should create a vibrational field in our brain.

The difficulty in such a comparative analysis is the fact that a pop song is merely a 3 to 5 minute track of a single musical idea. This is not an inferior form of construction, as it roots from the Art Songs of the early Romantics. It would be more respective to compare let's say a symphony, an opera, or a complete full size orchestral work, which usually consists of about 45 minutes to an hour of music, to a full-length pop rock album. The spectrum of events, so to speak, would be slightly more reasonable to compare in this case. I view modern albums as the equivalent of musical suites or song cycles in terms of scale and creation. Therefore, to be fair, a song from say Schubert's Winterreise, when compared to a song from Radiohead's OK Computer, would likely contain a slightly less balanced spectrum of events to the latter.

Yes, pop music is very different from art music and that shows in the "spectrum of events". Comparing them is relevant as it illustrates the huge differencies. It tells us that one reason people into pop music have difficulties with classical music is because they are used to narrow spectrum of events. We can always think about what are the optimum spectrums of events for different music genres?

did you get these data from the "Spectrum-meter"?

I get them from my head. I made them up just to illustrate the concept of my ideas.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: mahlertitan on May 03, 2007, 07:06:38 AM
I get them from my head. I made them up just to illustrate the concept of my ideas.

and that's exactly what the problem is, i hope you realize that by now.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: 71 dB on May 03, 2007, 07:14:16 AM
I wonder what very long events might mean for a 3-minutes pop music piece.

It would be practical to use logarithmic time scale. For example:

Very long events: 16 - 64 s
Long events: 4 - 16 s
Medium length events: 1 - 4 s
Short events: 250 - 1000 ms
Very short events: 63 - 250 ms

For events longer than 64 s or shorter than 63 ms we would need event frequency points "extremely long events" and "extreme short events".

and that's exactly what the problem is, i hope you realize that by now.

And Mahler's music didn't come form Mahler's head?  ???
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: karlhenning on May 03, 2007, 07:38:42 AM
It would be practical to use logarithmic time scale. For example:

No, actually, this strikes me as some of the most impractical discussion of music I've ever encountered.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: Israfel the Black on May 03, 2007, 07:39:14 AM

Yes, pop music is very different from art music and that shows in the "spectrum of events". Comparing them is relevant as it illustrates the huge differencies. It tells us that one reason people into pop music have difficulties with classical music is because they are used to narrow spectrum of events. We can always think about what are the optimum spectrums of events for different music genres?


I believe you completely misunderstood my post. I was making the point that you were comparing a 2-3 minute pop song to a classical composition of undefined length and genre. As per example, if compared to an art song of say Schubert or Brahms, a modern song (depending on the genre/artist) probably contains a more complex spectrum of events than a repeated piano melody and vocal harmony. It's a bit rash to compare six centuries in vast different genres of orchestral music to a single musical form that is mostly exercised in the song-style. I'm pointing out the flaw in the initial comparison, not acknowledging simple differences in the quantitative so-called spectrum of events. If you are using a modern song as comparison to classical music, then compare a song to a song. It's quite simple reasoning.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: 71 dB on May 03, 2007, 07:46:57 AM
No, actually, this strikes me as some of the most impractical discussion of music I've ever encountered.

This strikes me as some of the stupidest comments I've ever encountered. You are overwhelmed by my intellectual contribution to this thread and this is what you do, write pointless comments.

Note lenghts in music are defined in logarithmic way (1/1 note, 1/2 note, 1/4 note,....)
Logarithmic time scale IS most practical in music.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: MishaK on May 03, 2007, 07:48:31 AM
Mentally we detect the events pretty much automatically. Every event should create a vibrational field in our brain.

If our brains detected and processed all musical "automatically" none of this discussion, or indeed this forum, would be needed at all. While some people definitely have more of an intuitive grasp than otehrs, you still need to have a conceptual idea of the things you are listening to, the "grammar" of the music if you will. Otherwise it will just completely bypass you (which is apparently what is happening with much of Mahler for you at the moment).

As per example, if compared to an art song of say Schubert or Brahms, a modern song (depending on the genre/artist) probably contains a more complex spectrum of events than a repeated piano melody and vocal harmony.

I highly doubt that, given the harmonic poverty of current popular music, which rarely ever goes beyond the most banal 1-5 cadence.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: karlhenning on May 03, 2007, 07:50:32 AM
This strikes me as some of the stupidest comments I've ever encountered. You are overwhelmed by my intellectual contribution to this thread

Good God! Yes! That's it, exactly!  I am overwhelmed by your intellectual contribution.

I bow to your brilliance.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: 71 dB on May 03, 2007, 07:55:20 AM
I believe you completely misunderstood my post. I was making the point that you were comparing a 2-3 minute pop song to a classical composition of undefined length and genre. As per example, if compared to an art song of say Schubert or Brahms, a modern song (depending on the genre/artist) probably contains a more complex spectrum of events than a repeated piano melody and vocal harmony. It's a bit rash to compare six centuries in vast different genres of orchestral music to a single musical form that is mostly exercised in the song-style. I'm pointing out the flaw in the initial comparison, not acknowledging simple differences in the quantitative so-called spectrum of events. If you are using a modern song as comparison to classical music, then compare a song to a song. It's quite simple reasoning.

A 2 mins long pop song (usually they are 3½-4 minutes) can have 2-minutes long events. Longer events can't fit in but so what? Everybody know that Wagner's operas and pop songs are very different in all ways. People compare different music genres. Many ignore Wagner's operas because they find Madonna much better music. It's not my fault classical music is so different!
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: karlhenning on May 03, 2007, 07:56:48 AM
Dang! Another intellectual contribution of which I am in silent awe!
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Israfel the Black on May 03, 2007, 07:57:35 AM
I highly doubt that, given the harmonic poverty of current popular music, which rarely ever goes beyond the most banal 1-5 cadence.

I tend to disagree, but once again, I am speaking in terms of modern music, not exclusively the top 10 songs on continual radio station repeat. I would assert that Regina Spektor's piano and vocal music are on the same level complexity as a Schubert song, and I find them just as pleasing both melodically and artistically. To take a rock song, however, we are exceeding this banal 1-5 cadence and considering . Remember, Schubert himself is not simply a pop composer, but a musical genius of his century, as such, the songs of say Miles Davis, Jim Morrison, John Lennon, and such forth are more appropriate comparisons, even if they do not equal, prove no less, the song style is still just as equally complex and to be sure, artistically purposeful. While pop music circulates, I think any person who enjoys music with any slight depth admire the greats of the 20th century without listening to classical music, and still receiving the same amount of complexity found in art songs.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: Steve on May 03, 2007, 08:02:46 AM
This strikes me as some of the stupidest comments I've ever encountered. You are overwhelmed by my intellectual contribution to this thread and this is what you do, write pointless comments.

Note lenghts in music are defined in logarithmic way (1/1 note, 1/2 note, 1/4 note,....)
Logarithmic time scale IS most practical in music.

Well, if they were relavent intellectual contributions, perhaps.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: Israfel the Black on May 03, 2007, 08:03:23 AM
A 2 mins long pop song (usually they are 3½-4 minutes) can have 2-minutes long events. Longer events can't fit in but so what? Everybody know that Wagner's operas and pop songs are very different in all ways. People compare different music genres. Many ignore Wagner's operas because they find Madonna much better music. It's not my fault classical music is so different!

They ignore Wagner operas because they are 4 hours long. Comparing Wagner to a pop song is asinine, and you still fail to see my point. A pop song can only be compared to a song, not an opera or a symphony. It's that simple. You can make value judgments on the transition of music into almost exclusively being in the song style or orchestral music in the film medium, but you cannot compare the "spectrum of events" or quantitative values of a song to a multi-layered hour long opera. It's ridiculous. Compare a song to a song, or an album to a song cycle. You are also singling out the geniuses of an entire century instead of counting many of the banal composers within those times who created shit. Therefore, if you want to compare Schubert, you would compare him to Miles Davis, Lennon, etc;
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: Steve on May 03, 2007, 08:05:57 AM
A 2 mins long pop song (usually they are 3½-4 minutes) can have 2-minutes long events. Longer events can't fit in but so what? Everybody know that Wagner's operas and pop songs are very different in all ways. People compare different music genres. Many ignore Wagner's operas because they find Madonna much better music. It's not my fault classical music is so different!

Yes, but those events are part of an organic composition, they are not seperate entities and should not be analyzed as such.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: Don on May 03, 2007, 08:18:57 AM
Many ignore Wagner's operas because they find Madonna much better music.

I'd say some enjoy Madonna much more than Wagner; most folks haven't the slightest idea about Wagner or his music.  To say that many find Madonna much better music would be giving the typical person a level of musical awareness simply not possessed. 
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Cato on May 03, 2007, 08:22:27 AM
Straighforward technical way to detect events is to use some kind of modified Cepstral (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cepstrum) analysis. Perhaps even as simple method as Spectral analysis to squared (=power signal) and low-pass filtered audio signal would do the trick.

Mentally we detect the events pretty much automatically. Every event should create a vibrational field in our brain.

Yes, pop music is very different from art music and that shows in the "spectrum of events". Comparing them is relevant as it illustrates the huge differencies. It tells us that one reason people into pop music have difficulties with classical music is because they are used to narrow spectrum of events. We can always think about what are the optimum spectrums of events for different music genres?

I get them from my head. I made them up just to illustrate the concept of my ideas.

(My emphasis qbove)

Sorry, no, maybe every event does create a "vibrational event" (why the subjunctive?) in our brains, but that does not mean it contains meaning for us, either conscious or subconscious.

Example: ornithologists for years thought that bird calls were a rather robotic reflex caused by genetic imprinting.  But research, beginning with Len Howard (q.v. Birds as Individuals) and continuing with Theodore Barber (q.v. The Human Nature of Birds) showed something startling: what to our conscious perception seems to be the same 3 or 4-note birdsong repeated again and again is in fact something quite different.

A researcher took a tape of seemingly repetitious birdsongs and calls and slowed it down: astonishingly, the tape contained all sorts of extra notes - vibrational events for the tape recorder - but not for our ears and brains.  One conclusion: the avian ear is much more subtle and apparently faster than ours.

71db wrote:

Quote
A 2 mins long pop song (usually they are 3½-4 minutes) can have 2-minutes long events. Longer events can't fit in but so what?

"So what?"  Is that not precisely the point?  Looking at the above, you can conclude that the human ear can be blissfully unaware of the mathematics and the "grammar" as well as the content and context of music: I will refer to the story about Bruckner watching Götterdämmerung and wondering suddenly why Brunhilde was jumping onto the funeral pyre.

Beware of trying to place numbers- logarithmic or otherwise - onto human behavior: there are many bleached bones in that desert!

And compare apples only to apples!  Except when it comes to computers!   :D   Then there is no comparison!

Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on May 03, 2007, 08:40:15 AM
You are overwhelmed by my intellectual contribution to this thread and this is what you do, write pointless comments.

No, 71.

No one is overwhelmed by anything. You're only fooling yourself if you really believe that.

There have been plenty of honest attempts on this thread to query you as to your "theories". This should give ample indication of the honesty with which many approach you.

Yet your explanations offer nothing substantial. All we get is an endless "it's in my head" sort of childishness. Which counts for nothing.

Geniuses of this world don't hide themselves behind vague terms and smoke screen labels like "free thinker". They put their cards on the table and offer genuine, rational explanations for their theories. That is, if they want to be taken seriously.

If you can't recognize this then you are nowhere near as intelligent as you claim.


Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: MishaK on May 03, 2007, 08:44:01 AM
They ignore Wagner operas because they are 4 hours long. Comparing Wagner to a pop song is asinine, and you still fail to see my point. A pop song can only be compared to a song, not an opera or a symphony. It's that simple. You can make value judgments on the transition of music into almost exclusively being in the song style or orchestral music in the film medium, but you cannot compare the "spectrum of events" or quantitative values of a song to a multi-layered hour long opera. It's ridiculous. Compare a song to a song, or an album to a song cycle. You are also singling out the geniuses of an entire century instead of counting many of the banal composers within those times who created shit. Therefore, if you want to compare Schubert, you would compare him to Miles Davis, Lennon, etc;

I agree with all that, but you are describing the exceptions, not the rule.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: Florestan on May 03, 2007, 08:54:02 AM
71 dB, first you say this:


Long events: 4 - 16 s


Then, you say this:

A 2 mins long pop song (usually they are 3½-4 minutes) can have 2-minutes long events.

Which one is true, because they are mutually and arithmetically exclusive?
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: mahlertitan on May 03, 2007, 09:04:08 AM

Note lenghts in music are defined in logarithmic way (1/1 note, 1/2 note, 1/4 note,....)
Logarithmic time scale IS most practical in music.

no, it's not logarithmic, it's inverse, x^-1=(1/x), so mathematically speaking it should be (1/1 note 1^-1, 1/2 note 2^-1, 1/4 note 4^-1....)

but even so, you are ignoring the 3/4, and fact that time signature can be anything, it doesn't have to follow any mathematical model.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: 71 dB on May 03, 2007, 10:01:15 AM
So much forced and irrelevant critic I don't know if I bother answer.  ::)

New ideas take time to be accepted. These theories of mine are raw.

1/1, 1/2, 1/4,... is a logarithmic system. 3/4 is just a addition to this system:
1.5*[1/2, 1/4, 1/8,..]

Note: 1.5 is almost square root of 2 so it almost fits to a logaritmic system!

You are splitting hairs



Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: MishaK on May 03, 2007, 10:03:36 AM
1/1, 1/2, 1/4,... is a logarithmic system. 3/4 is just a addition to this system:
1.5*[1/2, 1/4, 1/8,..]

So is 7/8 or 9/16 and many others. But then the possible exceptions are as numerous as the examples for the logarithmic systmen, so it's not much of a system then, no?
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: 71 dB on May 03, 2007, 10:06:08 AM
So is 7/8 or 9/16 and many others. But then the possible exceptions are as numerous as the examples for the logarithmic systmen, so it's not much of a system then, no?

Not all is logarithmic. Most is and that why logarithmic system rules!
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: bwv 1080 on May 03, 2007, 10:11:26 AM
Trying to follow the discussion amidst all the confusion over #'s going on.

If I take 71dB to mean that the time scale of meaningful events in music follows a log or power law scale, then he is right.  If you take a Beethoven string quartet and think about ratios in the durations of phrase length to section length to movement length to the length of the whole piece, a log scale seems appropriate.

The meter ratios  (3/4, 7/16, 5/8) etc have nothing to do with log time as I understand 71 dB to mean it.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: 71 dB on May 03, 2007, 10:16:47 AM
The idea of logarithmic scale is in it's economy of covering a scale of huge dynamic variation.
Our senses work in logaritmic way too.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: 71 dB on May 03, 2007, 10:26:22 AM
Example: ornithologists for years thought that bird calls were a rather robotic reflex caused by genetic imprinting.  But research, beginning with Len Howard (q.v. Birds as Individuals) and continuing with Theodore Barber (q.v. The Human Nature of Birds) showed something startling: what to our conscious perception seems to be the same 3 or 4-note birdsong repeated again and again is in fact something quite different.

A researcher took a tape of seemingly repetitious birdsongs and calls and slowed it down: astonishingly, the tape contained all sorts of extra notes - vibrational events for the tape recorder - but not for our ears and brains.  One conclusion: the avian ear is much more subtle and apparently faster than ours.

Yes, all things do not create vibrational fields in the heads of all listeners. Advanced listerers hear more. The communication of birds is developped so that birds hear relevant things even if humans do not. Luckily music is composed for human ear.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: bwv 1080 on May 03, 2007, 10:27:16 AM
The idea of logarithmic scale is in it's economy of covering a scale of huge dynamic variation.
Our senses work in logaritmic way too.

And it goes without saying that loudness is logrithmic itself (the decibel scale for example)
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: karlhenning on May 03, 2007, 10:30:58 AM
If I take 71dB to mean that the time scale of meaningful events in music follows a log or power law scale, then he is right.  If you take a Beethoven string quartet and think about ratios in the durations of phrase length to section length to movement length to the length of the whole piece, a log scale seems appropriate.

Insofar as I understand you, no, I don't think I agree.

Quote
The meter ratios  (3/4, 7/16, 5/8) etc have nothing to do with log time as I understand 71 dB to mean it.

Of course, though I'm unsure where you got these, Steve.

Yes, all things do not create vibrational fields in the heads of all listeners. Advanced listerers hear more.

You can say whatever you please about "vibrational fields," because no one (probably including youself) has any idea what they are supposed to mean.

And it goes without saying that loudness is logrithmic itself (the decibel scale for example)

Yes, although there is no uniform way in which loudness relates to "meaningful events" in music (to cite another of 71 dB's fuzzphrases), of course.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: bwv 1080 on May 03, 2007, 10:36:39 AM
Insofar as I understand you, no, I don't think I agree.

All logorithmic means is that there are ratios between different temporal scales (but not that there is some easy deterministic mathematical formula).  Many composers as you know deliberately constructed music with set temporal proportions, as in Bartok's golden mean.

Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: 71 dB on May 03, 2007, 10:39:17 AM
And it goes without saying that loudness is logrithmic itself (the decibel scale for example)

Finally someone knows something!  :)

In fact the loudness (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loudness) curves are not exactly logarithmic but "near enough". Loudness for pure tones is measured in Phons (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phon), sound pressure level in dBs. At 1000 Hz Phons and dBs are equal.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: karlhenning on May 03, 2007, 10:40:22 AM
All logrithmic means is that there are ratios between different temporal scales (but not that there is some easy deterministic mathematical formula).  Many composers as you know deliberately constructed music with set temporal proportions, as in Bartok's golden mean.

Of course.  But, some composers using it in some pieces, is scarcely a general measure, right?

JS Bach made a game of having structural "seams" in some pieces at the end of 14 measures, or 41.

The fact that all this is so fluid, I am afraid rather inclines me to scoff at 71 dB's junk-scientific quackery here.

And in a few posts, he will tell us that junk-scientific quackery is just "freethinking."
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: 71 dB on May 03, 2007, 10:45:24 AM
You can say whatever you please about "vibrational fields," because no one (probably including youself) has any idea what they are supposed to mean.

I'm confident some open-minded persons here have a clue what "vibrational field" means. You don't seem to put much effort understanding what I say. Instead you do your best trying to make me look stupid with my theories. Well, it's your choice what you do.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: knight66 on May 03, 2007, 10:47:04 AM
Can we rename this thread? Anything you like as long as it includes, "Alice in Wonderland".

Mike
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: karlhenning on May 03, 2007, 10:47:17 AM
I'm confident some open-minded persons here have a clue what "vibrational field" means. You don't seem to put much effort understanding what I say. Instead you do your best trying to make me look stupid with my theories. Well, it's your choice what you do.

If you look stupid, I am afraid I cannot take any of the credit.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: bwv 1080 on May 03, 2007, 10:47:45 AM
Of course.  But, some composers using it in some pieces, is scarcely a general measure, right?

JS Bach made a game of having structural "seams" in some pieces at the end of 14 measures, or 41.

The fact that all this is so fluid, I am afraid rather inclines me to scoff at 71 dB's junk-scientific quackery here.

And in a few posts, he will tell us that junk-scientific quackery is just "freethinking."

It depends how strictly you interpet or define it.  Saying that log-scale symmetries, because they rule natural phenomena, are a naturally pleasing aesthetic and therefore tend to pop up in music whether intentionally put there or not is a reasonable proposition.  Claiming that there is some sort of magic formula is of course bogus.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: Danny on May 03, 2007, 10:48:28 AM
............................................OK!.........................................................

I love the First, Second, Fifth, Sixth, and Ninth Symphonies, along with Das Lied Von der Erde.

Still need to hear more by Gustav, but I definitley love the aformentioned.

Back to the techinical debate...............................................
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: karlhenning on May 03, 2007, 10:49:05 AM
(http://www.ebbemunk.dk/alice/73a_humpty-dumpty.jpg)

Quote
Through the Vibrational Field, and What Alice Heard There
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: karlhenning on May 03, 2007, 10:50:20 AM
............................................OK!.........................................................

I love the First, Second, Fifth, Sixth, and Ninth Symphonies, along with Das Lied Von der Erde.

Still need to hear more by Gustav, but I definitley love the aformentioned.

Back to the techinical debate...............................................

Whoa, Danny! Take it here! (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,683.0.html)

This thread is for 71 dB's "theories"!
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on May 03, 2007, 10:52:07 AM
............................................OK!.........................................................

I love the First, Second, Fifth, Sixth, and Ninth Symphonies, along with Das Lied Von der Erde.

Still need to hear more by Gustav, but I definitley love the aformentioned.

Back to the techinical debate...............................................

What do you not like about 3, 4, 7 and 8 (I admit not a big fan of 8 myself)?
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: 71 dB on May 03, 2007, 10:52:22 AM
Of course.  But, some composers using it in some pieces, is scarcely a general measure, right?

JS Bach made a game of having structural "seams" in some pieces at the end of 14 measures, or 41.

The fact that all this is so fluid, I am afraid rather inclines me to scoff at 71 dB's junk-scientific quackery here.

And in a few posts, he will tell us that junk-scientific quackery is just "freethinking."

Okay, I need to explain myself much better.

I said logarithmic time scale is the best option for the time points of spectrum of events. This doesn't means everything in music follows exactly logarithmic laws. It means the resolution should be logarithmic. This is difficult to explain to a person without scientific insight. It means events that are minutes long do not need to be separated in second. so, we don't need frequency point for 2 min 1 sec and 2 min 2 sec events. We can put them in the same place. But, with short event we need more resolution. This leads to logarithmic scale.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: Danny on May 03, 2007, 10:57:40 AM
What do you not like about 3, 4, 7 and 8 (I admit not a big fan of 8 myself)?

Heard the Third on the radio several times and it put me to sleep.  The Fourth had elements that struck me (in the best of Mahlerian senses), but..............well, I need a good version to give it a final grade!  Haven't heard the Seventh or Eighth, I'm afriad.

Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on May 03, 2007, 11:21:04 AM
Heard the Third on the radio several times and it put me to sleep. 


Really ??? Those muted trumpets and lower bass runs in the first movment don't tingle your nerves?
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: MishaK on May 03, 2007, 11:29:18 AM
I'm confident some open-minded persons here have a clue what "vibrational field" means. You don't seem to put much effort understanding what I say. Instead you do your best trying to make me look stupid with my theories. Well, it's your choice what you do.

If your theories can only be explained to "free-thinkers" (i.e. believers), then they are not of much use, I'm afraid. Theories are only of value if they can be logically explained to the skeptics. You keep running circles within your own tautologies without ever objectively defining your terminology in a way that would allow anyone to evaulate the correctness of your logic.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: 71 dB on May 03, 2007, 12:16:58 PM
If your theories can only be explained to "free-thinkers" (i.e. believers), then they are not of much use, I'm afraid. Theories are only of value if they can be logically explained to the skeptics. You keep running circles within your own tautologies without ever objectively defining your terminology in a way that would allow anyone to evaulate the correctness of your logic.

Free thinking is not anything weird. Free thinkers do not believe authorities automatically. Everything goes under critical evaluation. Theories are theories, not proven facts. If I am wrong I admit that. Without theories there are never proven facts. It is a good thing people have theories, whether they are right or wrong. If my theory is wrong someone debunks it and while doing so brings a new and better theory on the table. I am the only one here with theories. Please, present your own if you want to kill mine. Otherwise we don't have any theory.

My theories of vibrational fields and event spectrums are in very early stage. I have not formulated them well yet. I don't work actively with these theories, they are kind of background processes in my head.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: MishaK on May 03, 2007, 12:20:14 PM
You seem to be confused about the meaning of the terms "theory" and "fact".
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: mahlertitan on May 03, 2007, 03:13:58 PM
All logorithmic means is that there are ratios between different temporal scales (but not that there is some easy deterministic mathematical formula).  Many composers as you know deliberately constructed music with set temporal proportions, as in Bartok's golden mean.



so you read Mario Livio's "Golden Ratio" then? All these numbers, are nothing more than coincidences. What you and 71DB are trying to do is trying to judge the quality of music in quantitative means, this is absolutely impossible. I am well aware that some composers did use "math" "golden ratio" in their works, but i doubt those works become very famous pieces, and indeed, if composers can "calculate" music, then what difference is there between human and machine, theoretically, i invented smart enough AI, it can compose like Mahler too, and that is IMPOSSIBLE.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: mahlertitan on May 03, 2007, 03:26:37 PM
Free thinking is not anything weird. Free thinkers do not believe authorities automatically. Everything goes under critical evaluation. Theories are theories, not proven facts. If I am wrong I admit that. Without theories there are never proven facts. It is a good thing people have theories, whether they are right or wrong. If my theory is wrong someone debunks it and while doing so brings a new and better theory on the table. I am the only one here with theories. Please, present your own if you want to kill mine. Otherwise we don't have any theory.

My theories of vibrational fields and event spectrums are in very early stage. I have not formulated them well yet. I don't work actively with these theories, they are kind of background processes in my head.


yes, but even for theories, there must be a hypothesis that is backed by some sort of logical reasoning. If You know physics, then you know that before you formulate a theory, you must work out the math first, then you do the experiment and draw a conclusion. What i am hearing from you is that you form a theory out of thin-air, and there is no experiment, since the results are highly subjective....

you sometimes make a claim as if it is universal truth, then you say it works only most of the times.

i'll repeat what i said before, you need EVIDENCE, not what you think, but something that can be reproduced by anybody, and the result would be the same. With a hard evidence like that, i doubt anyone would disagree with your theories, but until then, you are talking pure Bullsh*t
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: 71 dB on May 03, 2007, 04:02:35 PM
so you read Mario Livio's "Golden Ratio" then? All these numbers, are nothing more than coincidences. What you and 71DB are trying to do is trying to judge the quality of music in quantitative means, this is absolutely impossible. I am well aware that some composers did use "math" "golden ratio" in their works, but i doubt those works become very famous pieces, and indeed, if composers can "calculate" music, then what difference is there between human and machine, theoretically, i invented smart enough AI, it can compose like Mahler too, and that is IMPOSSIBLE.

I am not trying to explain music 100 % with math. That's not the case. However, music follows mathematical rules statistically. If an event specrum says 15 % of the events in Mahler 3 have a length of 1 - 4 s that's a statistical claim. We don't know when these events occur.

Many mathematical number (like golden ratio) are not coincidences. They have extremely fundamental meaning and they are found everywhere in the nature. For example, e (= 2.71828...  Napier's constant (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E_(mathematical_constant))) is an extremely important number in math.

I am analysing music with these theories, not synthesizing.


yes, but even for theories, there must be a hypothesis that is backed by some sort of logical reasoning. If You know physics, then you know that before you formulate a theory, you must work out the math first, then you do the experiment and draw a conclusion. What i am hearing from you is that you form a theory out of thin-air, and there is no experiment, since the results are highly subjective....

you sometimes make a claim as if it is universal truth, then you say it works only most of the times.

i'll repeat what i said before, you need EVIDENCE, not what you think, but something that can be reproduced by anybody, and the result would be the same. With a hard evidence like that, i doubt anyone would disagree with your theories, but until then, you are talking pure Bullsh*t

I know the principles of science. The problem is this is not my work! Nobody pays me for doing things "by the book". Someone into cognitive science could perhaps get new ideas from these theories of mine and do real science work as a full day job. For me this is about understanding music and is a "hobby".
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: MishaK on May 03, 2007, 05:23:26 PM
For me this is about understanding music and is a "hobby".

That still doesn't excuse you from being rigorous enough to make your theory logically coherent.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: Steve on May 03, 2007, 08:25:46 PM
Is it possible to recover this thread from 71db's nonsense?

Regardless of whether there is an ioata of validity to his theories, they could never bring us any closer to understanding Mahler. That, is why, 71db, you can never come to understand him. Go ahead, and try and analyze the frequencies of particular constants in Shakespeare's sonnets. Will that ever provide a meaningful understanding of his role in literature? How will your logarithmic scale explain the intimacy with which Mahler creates for me images, tales, and truths about myself? Honestly, Mahler my friend, is simply beyond you.

Mahler's 3rd, not complicated enough for you! This coming from a person who is convinced that complexity should be understood quantitatively.

Why do we indugle him so?
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: Florestan on May 04, 2007, 02:28:49 AM
Regardless of whether there is an ioata of validity to his theories, they could never bring us any closer to understanding Mahler. That, is why, 71db, you can never come to understand him. Go ahead, and try and analyze the frequencies of particular constants in Shakespeare's sonnets. Will that ever provide a meaningful understanding of his role in literature? How will your logarithmic scale explain the intimacy with which Mahler creates for me images, tales, and truths about myself? Honestly, Mahler my friend, is simply beyond you.

I second wholeheartedly each and every word above.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: 71 dB on May 04, 2007, 02:57:16 AM
That still doesn't excuse you from being rigorous enough to make your theory logically coherent.

Ever heard of freedom of speech? I can speak about any theories of mine. It is the responsibility of the readers to evaluate critically what is said. I am planning to formulate my theories better but it takes time. Today I discovered that I will be measuring loudspeakers tomorrow. Maybe next week?

Regardless of whether there is an ioata of validity to his theories, they could never bring us any closer to understanding Mahler. That, is why, 71db, you can never come to understand him. Go ahead, and try and analyze the frequencies of particular constants in Shakespeare's sonnets. Will that ever provide a meaningful understanding of his role in literature? How will your logarithmic scale explain the intimacy with which Mahler creates for me images, tales, and truths about myself? Honestly, Mahler my friend, is simply beyond you.

Mahler's 3rd, not complicated enough for you! This coming from a person who is convinced that complexity should be understood quantitatively.

Why do we indugle him so?

I'm afraid you don't yet understand what my theories are about. Music is based on math. All scales, temperaments, chords, etc. are math. Haven't you realised that? Composing can be seen as utilizing the freedom there is inside the frames given by math. Beauty and ugliness are defined by the nature that works under the universal laws of physics. Evolution minimizes and maximizes parameters. As a result nature "finds" fundamental mathematical functions as the optimized solution. Mathematical people find huge beauty in math.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: Florestan on May 04, 2007, 03:09:35 AM
Ever heard of freedom of speech? I can speak about any theories of mine. It is the responsibility of the readers to evaluate critically what is said.
I second that, too, except "responsibility". The readers may critically evaluate your theories, but they are under no obligation to do that.

Now, my friend, I have absolutely no argument with you. You may develop any theory you want. My only question is: what's all this got to do with Mahler? I like Mahler a lot being in the same time completely ignorant of vibrational fields and spectrum events. :)

Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: greg on May 04, 2007, 03:36:06 AM
this thread is just getting to goofy  ::)
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: Cato on May 04, 2007, 04:15:25 AM

I'm afraid you don't yet understand what my theories are about. Music is based on math. All scales, temperaments, chords, etc. are math. Haven't you realised that? Composing can be seen as utilizing the freedom there is inside the frames given by math. Beauty and ugliness are defined by the nature that works under the universal laws of physics. Evolution minimizes and maximizes parameters. As a result nature "finds" fundamental mathematical functions as the optimized solution. Mathematical people find huge beauty in math.

Music is based on math. You have reinvented the wheel with no obvious improvement!  I will send you to learn Ancient Greek and then to read Pythagoras and his disciples in the original.   :D

Beauty and ugliness are defined by the nature that works under the universal laws of physics.

Mathematics and Physics depend on absolutes: one counter-example is all you need to determine that a law is false.

So, sorry, but you cannot put a mathematical formula on the human perception of beauty or ugliness.  As soon as your formula or physical law defines ugliness in a work, all I need to do is find one person who objects to the work being defined as ugly, and your law turns to dust. 

As an extreme and unpleasant example, there was a terrible case of child abuse years ago, where the victim came to love the smell of excrement over time, aka coprophilia.  While the vast majority of humanity will reject excrement as beautiful, a coprophiliac will beg to differ.

And there are certain species where coprophagy is the norm and necessary for their survival, e.g. rabbits, but Bugs Bunny will never admit it!   :P    Whether or not rabbits like doing that remains an unknown!

I will send you to meditate on the implications of Mandelbrot sets and Chaos Theory as they apply to the human brain!   :o

Allow me therefore to return us to Gustav Mahler, whose music has been called ugly and even worse epithets, but whose inspiration - like those of all artists - is not reducible to Mathematical equations!    0:)

Yesterday I cranked up my new CD of the Second Symphony with the Vienna Philharmonic and Pierre Boulez conducting.  The DGG recording is astounding, and the brass playing!!!  Incisive, breath-taking, truly apocalyptic, as is required by the score.

I await the Eighth as conducted by Boulez: any news on when this is due?
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: mahlertitan on May 04, 2007, 05:20:09 AM
Music is based on math.

that's a interesting claim, when i was taking epistemology,i read a few books on the matter. What i discovered was, even though there seemed to be connections between math and aesthetics, the relationship is very weak in classical music. Furthermore, you are not the first person to make this claim, many have made this claim, but have all failed to make a cogent argument, or find enough evidence to persuade anyone.

when it comes to finding evidence of mathematics in music, number juggling is what you are doing.

and no, Music is not based on math, Music is based on arithmetic.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: bwv 1080 on May 04, 2007, 05:52:18 AM
I started a new thread with my thoughts on the music & math topic:

http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,739.0.html (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,739.0.html)

If it is worth pursuing, perhaps Mahler can be left out of it.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: 71 dB on May 04, 2007, 06:37:09 AM
I second that, too, except "responsibility". The readers may critically evaluate your theories, but they are under no obligation to do that.

Obligated in the way that if you take what I say for grain of salt you can blame only yourself.

Now, my friend, I have absolutely no argument with you. You may develop any theory you want. My only question is: what's all this got to do with Mahler? I like Mahler a lot being in the same time completely ignorant of vibrational fields and spectrum events. :)

In the beginning I told I don't find Mahler's music that complex. I was asked if musical complexity equals the number of note. I replied partially but the real complexity is in vibrational fields.

Musical complexity = number of notes * degree of sophistication

Degree of sophistication (I came up with this term last night. Earlier I used expression "how much music is there per note") is defined by vibrational fields in a VERY complex way. I am in the beginning of the understanding of how. It seems that we need to calculate how coherent all the vibrational fields are together, some kind of penalty function. The greater value of penalty the smaller degree of sophisticaltion.

Why is Elgar more complex than Mahler? Because Elgar's degree of sophistication is greater. The number of the notes is pretty much the same. All the math and logic in this thread is mandatory in order to explain my free thinker opinions. I am sorry about that.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: karlhenning on May 04, 2007, 06:38:45 AM
Why is Elgar more complex than Mahler? Because Elgar's degree of sophistication is greater. The number of the notes is pretty much the same. All the math and logic in this thread is mandatory in order to explain my free thinker opinions. I am sorry about that.

No further questions, your honor.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: MishaK on May 04, 2007, 07:29:29 AM
Ever heard of freedom of speech? I can speak about any theories of mine. It is the responsibility of the readers to evaluate critically what is said. I am planning to formulate my theories better but it takes time. Today I discovered that I will be measuring loudspeakers tomorrow. Maybe next week?

We are indeed exercising our responsibilities by holding your feet to the fire and asking you to support your fuzzy terminology with some coherent arguments.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: knight66 on May 04, 2007, 07:36:16 AM
You may need to put some more sensitive parts to the fire.

Mike
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: 71 dB on May 04, 2007, 07:42:18 AM
We are indeed exercising our responsibilities by holding your feet to the fire and asking you to support your fuzzy terminology with some coherent arguments.

That's good. I could be a lunatic talking mambo jambo. I try my best withstanding the heat!  ;D
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: karlhenning on May 04, 2007, 07:47:04 AM
Could be?
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: JoshLilly on May 04, 2007, 07:53:56 AM
"Now nobody in their right mind will think Dittersdorf, who is a good second-rate composer, at best, is more "promising" than Mahler."


I do.
I have no comments on Mahler. I'm only posting at all in response to this statement. Back to reading more.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: Steve on May 04, 2007, 07:59:41 AM
Obligated in the way that if you take what I say for grain of salt you can blame only yourself.

In the beginning I told I don't find Mahler's music that complex. I was asked if musical complexity equals the number of note. I replied partially but the real complexity is in vibrational fields.

Musical complexity = number of notes * degree of sophistication

Degree of sophistication (I came up with this term last night. Earlier I used expression "how much music is there per note") is defined by vibrational fields in a VERY complex way. I am in the beginning of the understanding of how. It seems that we need to calculate how coherent all the vibrational fields are together, some kind of penalty function. The greater value of penalty the smaller degree of sophisticaltion.

Why is Elgar more complex than Mahler? Because Elgar's degree of sophistication is greater. The number of the notes is pretty much the same. All the math and logic in this thread is mandatory in order to explain my free thinker opinions. I am sorry about that.

How, my friend, could you ever quantify sophistication? Thats like quantifying the greatness of a poem or a piece of art. Certain catagories are nessecarily subjective. You can invent forumulas and term them how you'd like, but you failed to justify how it is that you can objectify these things.

While math might be integrated into the making of music, just as Geometry is essential to Cubist Paiters, it is still an art form. No one in the history of our species has every proposed a single unified objective theory of art that was uninversally accepted. You just can't do that. Next you'll be telling us that Elgar is superior to Mahler, because he has a higher perfection score, which can also be calculated.

You propose these elaborate theories without dealing with their obvious objections. Forget vibrational fields; tell me how we are to accept the notion that subjective facets of art can suddenly be quantified because you tell us they can. This is about as useless as plotting the perfection of a poem on an axis.

I'm a math major, and trust me, I am very interested in discussing the link between music and math, but I understand that while this might be an interesting project, I will never expect to be able to understand anything more about the the experience I have when I listen to Mahler, then I do now. Mahler's works are pieces of art- society has accepted for a long time that experienes of art are unique and any judgement, subjective. We start plotting the complexity of a Mahler Symphony on a graph, and we dehumanize the entire listening experience.

What you refer to "freethinking" my friend, is simply a mechanism that allows you to propose elaborate theories without the sort of critical thinking and evidenciary requirement of rigorous scientific theories.

Go ahead and continue writing more theories, but until you can deal with the question of how to create objective standards in art- a question which has puzzled every philosopher who ever wrote on the subject of asethics, than there is not point to debating you.

You can speak, by friend, but I too have the right to subject your statements to evalulation, right?
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: 71 dB on May 04, 2007, 08:11:59 AM
Next you'll be telling us that Elgar is superior to Mahler, because he has a higher perfection score, which can also be calculated.

This "calculation" happens automatically in brain, if the brain is trained enough to do it that is. It's fuzzy logic. Calculations are simplified by allowing some errors (errare humanum est).
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: Steve on May 04, 2007, 08:17:31 AM
This "calculation" happens automatically in brain, if the brain is trained enough to do it that is. It's fuzzy logic. Calculations are simplified by allowing some errors (errare humanum est).

I suppose you have evidence for this?
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: springrite on May 04, 2007, 08:19:23 AM
Love, compassion, hatred, beauty, etc., are all math, I guess. Let's make all MIT math professors counselors, composers, artists, critics, judge, what have you. Winner of Field's Medal should be made King of the Universe, or, at least, Secretary General of the U.N.  ;D
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: Greta on May 04, 2007, 08:22:13 AM
Quote from: 71db
Musical complexity = number of notes * degree of sophistication

This is not mathematically verifiable, 71db. Number of notes is quantitative yes, but degree of sophistication is qualitative. Unless of course you could supply with the 71dB numerical Sophistication Scale, maybe with 1-10 as levels and a piece named beside as an example of each?

And I can think of plenty of pieces that just don't fit into your neat equation...slow-paced works of Ligeti, Rautavaara and Saariaho, for ex. come to mind. Definitely complex though the number of notes is not as great. Or maybe they're just so sophisticated that would make up the difference...  ;)

So according to your formula:
Low Number of Notes * High Degree of Sophistication
High Number of Notes * Low Degree of Sophistication
= The Same Musical Complexity


Right, so...
A harmonically/stylistically complex Adagio of a string quartet
is overall less complex
Than a full orchestrated version of Mary Had a Little Lamb

(Unless, possibly Schoenberg orchestrated it...)

Yes, doesn't that formula hold up well?



Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: bwv 1080 on May 04, 2007, 08:22:19 AM
Love, compassion, hatred, beauty, etc., are all math, I guess.

Given that they are evolutionary adaptations and genetic algorithms are a branch of mathematics that models natural selection then yes, all those things are math.  ;)
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: Cato on May 04, 2007, 08:24:37 AM
This "calculation" happens automatically in brain, if the brain is trained enough to do it that is. It's fuzzy logic. Calculations are simplified by allowing some errors (errare humanum est).

I am glad to see the quotes around the word "calculation": you need to do some basic research on "neurophysics", i.e. neurons, synapses, and the quantum physics involved in "calculating" electrical charges.  

Neo-Pythagoreanism has many pitfalls!   8)

Amen to Greta!    0:)
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: karlhenning on May 04, 2007, 08:53:51 AM
Aye.

A terg was I ere I saw Greta.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: bwv 1080 on May 04, 2007, 09:09:49 AM
Aye.

A terg was I ere I saw Greta.

A detailed statistical analysis of your past posting could be used to create a genetic algorithm that would have generated the exact same response as you gave above. 
Face it Karl, your posting on GMG is all a matter of mathematics.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: mahlertitan on May 04, 2007, 11:02:31 AM
A detailed statistical analysis of your past posting could be used to create a genetic algorithm that would have generated the exact same response as you gave above. 
Face it Karl, your posting on GMG is all a matter of mathematics.

isn't that a bit reductionist? sure, you can overgeneralize everything in the universe as physical processes, but what's the point of discussing art, all we can say is that art is a branch of physics, just like anything else in the world.

Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: karlhenning on May 04, 2007, 11:07:34 AM
Steve was jesting a wee bit wrily now look you.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: bwv 1080 on May 04, 2007, 11:16:33 AM
Steve was jesting a wee bit wrily now look you.

Hmm.  I have to recalibrate the algorithm.  The response predicted by the model was "Gosh, it renewed my interest in hamhocks"
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: Steve on May 04, 2007, 07:01:10 PM
isn't that a bit reductionist? sure, you can overgeneralize everything in the universe as physical processes, but what's the point of discussing art, all we can say is that art is a branch of physics, just like anything else in the world.



I don't know if you'd be interested, MahlerTitan, but I was thinking of starting a discussion about mathematical relationships in what are termed, ideal works. I had long been considering this idea for research sometime in the near future. This would be far from quantifying things such as perfection and sophistication as 71db does, but merely a look at samples from the canon and what sorts of relationships exist.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: Steve on May 04, 2007, 07:02:02 PM
Steve was jesting a wee bit wrily now look you.

Ah yes.. just some light banter between friends.  :)
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: greg on May 05, 2007, 04:06:15 AM
Love, compassion, hatred, beauty, etc., are all math, I guess.
of course they are- hasn't anyone heard of the secret formula for being annoyed?

well, there's a few, but here's one:

(reading a Mahler thread) + (reading something like this on the thread: Low Number of Notes * High Degree of Sophistication High Number of Notes * Low Degree of Sophistication = The Same Musical Complexity)

= annoyance  :P
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: Steve on May 05, 2007, 05:45:26 AM
of course they are- hasn't anyone heard of the secret formula for being annoyed?

well, there's a few, but here's one:

(reading a Mahler thread) + (reading something like this on the thread: Low Number of Notes * High Degree of Sophistication High Number of Notes * Low Degree of Sophistication = The Same Musical Complexity)

= annoyance  :P

Let me revise that formula, and remove the word Mahler from the thread. I could never find myself bored discussing the intricacies of his music. But, alas, this thread has nothing to do wih him.  :)
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: karlhenning on May 05, 2007, 05:48:49 AM
Elegant emendation approved by simple show of hands.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: Steve on May 05, 2007, 05:51:59 AM
Elegant emendation approved by simple show of hands.

Oh Threadmaster!  ;D
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: Greta on May 05, 2007, 06:25:33 AM
[STAMP] This message is approved.  ;D

Seriously, I don't know what this thread is about anymore....71dB has lost me!

But now that it's out of our system, the real Mahler thread is doing well. ;)
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: Steve on May 05, 2007, 07:30:57 AM
[STAMP] This message is approved.  ;D

Seriously, I don't know what this thread is about anymore....71dB has lost me!

But now that it's out of our system, the real Mahler thread is doing well. ;)

It is, indeed.  :)
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: greg on May 05, 2007, 02:44:46 PM

Seriously, I don't know what this thread is about anymore....71dB has lost me!

lets talk about buggers then.....
and how yummy they are......

for your dog.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: 71 dB on May 06, 2007, 01:34:32 AM
Seriously, I don't know what this thread is about anymore....71dB has lost me!

I'm sorry things got out of hand. The ideas of free thinkers are controversal.

"Controversy creates ca$h"
- Eric Bischoff (http://www.ericbischoff.com/)

"Controversy creates confusing threads"
- 71 dB


This thread is about Mahler's significance as a composer and symphonist.
My opinion at the moment is that he sure is significant but not in the extent
that is generally accepted.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: Catison on May 06, 2007, 08:29:38 AM
So you are telling me someone has stolen the meaning of free thinkers now?
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: 71 dB on May 06, 2007, 08:44:21 AM
So you are telling me someone has stolen the meaning of free thinkers now?

I am telling you the more I free think the more I wonder what is my place in this world.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: Choo Choo on May 06, 2007, 08:48:44 AM
Maybe that is your place...?
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: greg on May 06, 2007, 09:54:27 AM
Quote
I am telling you the more I free think the more I wonder what is my place in this world.

It doesn't matter anyways, since eventually we'll all be history.

why don't u do a little free rapping instead  8)


 $:)
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: greg on May 06, 2007, 09:54:52 AM



( 8)) i'm hiding from the police
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: greg on May 06, 2007, 09:55:09 AM
 $:) (where can that thug be?)
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: greg on May 06, 2007, 09:55:30 AM
 8) (yo, fo' shizzle i be hiding in a tree)
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: greg on May 06, 2007, 09:56:01 AM
see, you can always start with those lines....






 $:) 8) ahhhhh!!!!!!!
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: 71 dB on May 06, 2007, 10:00:20 AM
Hell, we all need a place in life! Something to offer to the world. A Job, life, everything...
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: greg on May 06, 2007, 10:04:48 AM
Hell, we all need a place in life! Something to offer to the world. A Job, life, everything...
that's why i thought you could best be a freestyle rapper, that's your place.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: Steve on May 06, 2007, 10:07:59 AM
I am telling you the more I free think the more I wonder what is my place in this world.

Certainly not in the scientific community.....  ;D (kidding)
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: Danny on May 06, 2007, 10:49:31 PM
I saw a great free-style rap over Mahler's Ninth on MySpace.  Funky stuff!   ;D
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: greg on May 07, 2007, 04:58:02 AM
I saw a great free-style rap over Mahler's Ninth on MySpace.  Funky stuff!   ;D
what, seriously?  :o
where did you see it?
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Sydney Grew on January 11, 2008, 06:16:26 PM
. . . I continue listening to the symphonies but I still can't include Mahler among the greatest symphonists.

Mahler's trademark is to keep things simple. I constantly feel he does not take the music anywhere. Also, all movements sound alike. I don't know another composer whose fast and slow movements sound so similar. . . .

What a pleasure it is to find some one so well expressing one's own view! For indeed we said much the same HERE (http://r3ok.myforum365.com/index.php?topic=373.msg62370#msg62370). The Eighth is his most worthwhile symphony, and it is also the least similar to the others.

A curious fact is that it is usually the Mahler-lovers who turn out to be the Shosta-cow-itch lovers too. Yet there is a difference: Mahler's long symphonies are not unpleasant to listen to - at least in the background while one is busily occupied with some other task - whereas Shosta-cow-itch's are for a sensitive and discriminating person intolerable in any setting.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: M forever on January 11, 2008, 07:50:11 PM
Just *how* do you come up with all that silly stuff? I have to admit there is some kind of negative genius shining through your nonsensical contributions sometimes. Are you currently on medication?
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: greg on January 12, 2008, 06:10:08 AM
Just *how* do you come up with all that silly stuff? I have to admit there is some kind of negative genius shining through your nonsensical contributions sometimes. Are you currently on medication?
i don't think any amount of medication can cure someone of that strong a case of retardedness.
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Haffner on January 12, 2008, 06:29:57 PM
What a pleasure it is to find some one so well expressing one's own view! For indeed we said much the same HERE (http://r3ok.myforum365.com/index.php?topic=373.msg62370#msg62370). The Eighth is his most worthwhile symphony, and it is also the least similar to the others.

A curious fact is that it is usually the Mahler-lovers who turn out to be the Shosta-cow-itch lovers too. Yet there is a difference: Mahler's long symphonies are not unpleasant to listen to - at least in the background while one is busily occupied with some other task - whereas Shosta-cow-itch's are for a sensitive and discriminating person intolerable in any setting.




Okayyy...
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: BachQ on January 12, 2008, 06:34:18 PM
What a pleasure it is to find some one so well expressing one's own view!

Yes, 71dB has a special, special gift in "expressing his own view" .......... Very special ......... very special ..........
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Sergeant Rock on January 13, 2008, 06:58:46 AM
A curious fact is that it is usually the Mahler-lovers who turn out to be the Shosta-cow-itch lovers too.

Herr Professor Henning would disagree with that statement.

Yet there is a difference: Mahler's long symphonies are not unpleasant to listen to - at least in the background while one is busily occupied with some other task

Mahler as easy listening music?   :D ...astonishing.

whereas Shosta-cow-itch's are for a sensitive and discriminating person intolerable in any setting.

We contend that it is completely possible to be a sensitive and discriminating person and still possess a pair of balls and the ability to use your ears like a man.

Sarge
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: BachQ on January 13, 2008, 07:33:04 AM
Based on what I have heard so far I'd like Mahler 4 times denser

(priceless)
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: Haffner on January 13, 2008, 08:28:19 AM
(priceless)



(laughing uproariously with Dmitri)

Mahler's 3rd in particular...how rudimentary!
Title: Re: Mahler Mania
Post by: PSmith08 on January 13, 2008, 09:07:32 AM
We contend that it is completely possible to be a sensitive and discriminating person and still possess a pair of balls and the ability to use your ears like a man.

Sarge

Funniest thing I have ever heard in a Mahler context.
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: knight66 on January 13, 2008, 09:15:05 AM
I agree with Sarge. Additionally, I want combat lessons on how to use my ears like a man...also, with sensitivity.

Mike
Title: Re: The Great Mahler Debate
Post by: drogulus on January 13, 2008, 12:46:10 PM


    Music is based on math

     And archtecture, and computer programs and maybe a couple of other things. It's how music departs from math (by, for example, sounding like something) that marks it out from other phenomena that are also based on math. Posting on an internet forum, like killing space monsters and ripping Mahler to my hard drive are math-based. My chili recipe is an electrochemical extravaganza, though I rarely refer to the Periodic Table when I write it out.