Your Mahler

This is your place to upload your thoughts and responses to Mahler’s music, and to share what it means to you.  Whether you’ve been to a concert in the Birmingham Mahler Cycle or you live on the opposite side of the world, we’d love you to join the conversation!

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7 Responses to Your Mahler

  1. mymahler says:

    A few comments that have been posted elsewhere on the site just to get things started:

    “It is music that gets to the very depths of one’s soul. It can be exhilarating one minute & bring you to tears the next. I can’t think of one other composer whose works can do that.” (Tim Walton)

    “I didn’t want his eighth symphony to end on the 18th Sept, I was in another world, it’s so hard to contain all the emotions and be so choked up as the final note is struck.” (Mary Rogerson)

    “Mahler’s music has a way of raising the qualities of life to dizzying heights…” (Stephen Brand)

  2. James Hawksley says:

    My wife and I were exhillarated by the performance of Mahler 5 yesterday afternoon. We had also attended David Gregory’s excellent (as usual) pre-concert talk. As the talk preoceeded, we began to realise we had heard it before (memory now is not our strong point!). Looking back at previous programmes, I found that it had been on 1 May 2008. I was surprised to see that on that occasion the first part of the concert was both the Haydn and Elgar cello concertos, 55mins of music! Makes yesterday’s Bach’s double concerto (although excellently performed) seem rather short measure!!

  3. Dave Ayre says:

    “A strange thing happened to me on the way from the Hall” could probably best sum up my experience when Vladimir Jurowski performed Mahler’s 4th Symphony on December 2nd! Living in Leicester and given the weather conditions, it was touch and go as to whether the trains would be running to Birmingham on the night – I was very anxious because I have set my heart on attending the complete Mahler Cycle at Symphony Hall, even more so after thoroughly enjoying Symphonies 3, 5 and 8. Fortunately there were no train cancellations and I arrived in plenty of time to attend the pre-concert talk with Vladimir and Lyndon Jenkins. One of the interesting points in the talk was the conductor’s continual desire, indeed passion, to find out more and more about Mahler. I am a lover of music but in no way am I a music expert and therefore I was delighted that I could empathise with Vladimir because I too am fascinated and crave for more knowledge about this incredible composer. During the concert interval, I spoke to Lyndon Jenkins and asked if it would be possible for me to speak to the conductor after the performance. He was only too willing to arrange this and I went back to my seat only to find that the doors had been shut! Despite all my pleas and obvious disappointment, the lady at the door would not let me in and, to cut a long story short, I ended up watching the concert behind glass at the back of the hall and listening to the symphony through some badly distorted speakers! How good was the performance? – maybe someone who was there would let me know. The good news was that I did meet Vladimir after the concert – he was very charming and made me feel welcome. Thank-you Lyndon for arranging the meeting. You are probably wondering what is behind the meaning of my opening sentence to this message – I will explain. After my meeting with the conductor I had to dash back to New Street station to catch the last train back to Leicester. Whilst waiting in the queue for a coffee at the station, the person in front of me looked very familiar – it was Vladimir! We continued our conversation and I treated him to a well-earned drink – we then went our different ways. My thoughts on the train journey back to Leicester were mixed with disappointment and pleasure as you could imagine – the whole experience seemed almost surreal – I certainly will not forget it! I am looking forward to the 9th Symphony tonight – if you are going, make sure you get to your seat in plenty of time!

    Best Wishes,

    Dave Ayre

    • mymahler says:

      Thank you for letting us know about your Mahler 4 experience – a memorable night indeed. We’re sorry your evening was marred in not being able to return to your seat after the interval. Unfortunately we are not able to let latecomers into the Hall once the concert has restarted, in order to avoid disturbing the performers and other concert-goers. Please do let us know how you’re enjoying the remaining Mahler Cycle concerts.

  4. I loved the performance of Mahler 1 last night. I have never heard it live before, but, having come back to Mahler’s music as a result of working closely with Uri Caine, both in 1997/98 when he toured UK and more recently for the Uri Caine Meets Mahler concert in the Mahler Cycle, I found that much of it is familiar. I particularly enjoyed the Third Movement with echoes of village bands and the atmosphere of the Austro Hungarian Empire of the 1860/70s.

  5. Anonymous says:

    We came to the Mahler cycle with Antonio Pappano on Saturday night, and what an extraordinary and powerful programme it proved to be! No less than 4 encores and a reprise of the closing section from the Lizst concerto.
    We’ve enjoyed all of the Mahler cycle so far, but this performance was exceptional in every way, and shows that Birmingham can rival anything that London can put on.
    We last saw Maestro Pappano when he led the Verdi and Britten requiems a couple of year ago at SH, and he was impressive then.
    Now we cannot decide between Andris Nelsons and Pappano for the top slot!
    A wonderful evening, and a delight to welcome back Maestro Pappano once more.

  6. E Moore says:

    I’ve just finished writing my undergraduate dissertation entitled “Second Thoughts: A Critcal Re-evaluation of Received Opinion on Mahler’s Second Symphony”; a piece of work which I have thoroughly enjoyed researching and producing. I was very apprehensive whilst choosing my topic that studying the Second in such depth would dampen my enthusiasm for it – it has done nothing of the kind! I would still listen to this fascinating and disturbing work multiple times a day if I could, and am *thoroughly* looking forward to the Mahler Cycle performance of it in May. Perhaps see you there!

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