Los Angeles

The Many Varieties of Mahler Madness


Photo courtesy of the LA Times

It's easy to be overwhelmed by Mahler Madness.

Even before we launched the Mad About Mahler campaign - in which we encourage Mahler fans from all over the world to "show us their Mahler" - people around the offices had been referring to "Mahler Madness" as if it were some sort new malady. And, in many ways, it resembled that - for some, it was all we thought about. The Mahler Project. Mahler 8 at the Shrine. The upcoming trip to Venezuela. LA Phil LIVE.

The point at which one succumbed to Mahler Madness was the point where it became difficult to separate oneself from the WORK of putting on The Mahler Project and being able to remember that the ultimate goal here was the creation of music.

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Part of the Musical Family

Saludos a todos!

Bienvenido al ciclo Mahler!!

Performing all of the Mahler symphonies in a three-week span in the world of classical music is something very unique and really amazing. Though I have conducted some of them, for me it is a great experience to have the opportunity to study all of the symphonies and to be assisting Gustavo Dudamel in this big project.

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Mad About Mahler!

This probably won't come as a surprise to many, but Gustavo Dudamel is mad about Mahler.

So...can you understand where Gustavo is coming from? Do you wake up with a Mahler symphony in your head? Have you written a blog post about his music or a poem celebrating the composer? Or are you, like so many others, just discovering his work but somehow aware that Mahler's music is special?

Whatever stage of Mahler madness you're at - Mahler newbie, Mahler lover or Mahler maniac - Gustavo and we here at the LA Phil would like you to do something for us.

We want you to show us your Mahler.

It's easy enough to do.

You can tweet about your experience with Mahler using the hashtag #MahlerProject.

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A Thousand Words, Part II – Getting the Shrine Ready

Mahler in LA


Gustav Mahler, at center, influenced LA more than most people know; his friends and devotees with connections to LA included (clockwise from top left) his wife Alma; and composers/conductors Otto Klemperer, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Max Steiner, Arnold Schoenberg and Bruno Walter.

More than midway through The Mahler Project, not much has been talked yet about Mahler in Los Angeles.

Mahler in Los Angeles? He never set foot on the West Coast, much as he would have liked to. As conductor of the New York Philharmonic, Mahler invented orchestral touring and visited 12 cities in the Northeastern U.S. in 1909-10. Had he lived longer, he might have made it out West and maybe to Los Angeles.

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ALOUD – A Conversation with Deborah Borda and Norman Lebrecht

Author Norman Lebrecht is Mad about Mahler, too - after all, he's written two books on the subject, including the recent Why Mahler: How One Man and Ten Symphonies Changed Our World.

Here's Lebrecht with the LA Phil's very own President and CEO, Deborah Borda, in a conversation about Mahler held by the Library Foundation of Los Angeles' ALOUD series and co-sponsored by The Mahler Project.

Why Mahler? Why Mahler? How One Man and Ten Symphonies Changed Our World from ALOUDla on Vimeo.

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This Week in Mahler, Part III – The Homestretch


Photo of Gustavo Dudamel and Martin Chalifour courtesy of the LA Times

Well, here we are.

We've entered a sort of "endgame" for The Mahler Project here in LA. The Project will roll on for two more weeks in Venezuela after the final, haunting notes of Mahler 9 fade into the warm afternoon air on FEB 5 - but after next Sunday, the grand effort we know as The Mahler Project is over in the United States.

That is, until FEB 18, when people around the country will be able to walk, drive, bike or skip to their local movie theaters, order a large popcorn and sit back to enjoy the "Symphony of a Thousand" live from Caracas, Venezuela as party of LA Phil LIVE.

That said, there's still plenty of Mahler to be had this week. Here's what's happening, Mahler-wise:

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Out On The Town – The SBSOV Vists YOLA

YOLA

Editor's note: This post was written by Daniel Berkowitz, the LA Phil's YOLA Manager.

During a break in the action last week, nearly 30 musicians from the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela visited our two YOLA sites: YOLA at HOLA, our partnership with Heart of Los Angeles, and YOLA at EXPO, our partnership with Harmony Project and EXPO Center. EXPO, HOLA and SBSOV are preparing for a side-by-side concert on JAN 30 - it's right around the corner!

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And Now For Something A Little Heavier…

Contrary to popular belief, the music of Mahler isn't all sunshine and light...


What makes the symphony-ending hammer blows in Mahler 6 happen here at the LA Phil

We're being facetious, of course, as Mahler's symphonies are famously dense and more than a little somber throughout - LA Phil Music Director Gustavo Dudamel noted in his post-concert talk after a performance of Mahler 1 that "no one loved to suffer more than Mahler." And, if there's a symphony that proves this fact, it's Mahler 6. After all, a symphony doesn't get to be known popularly as "The Tragic (der Tragische) without earning a reputation for being on the dark side - it ends with three crushing hammer blows - but, true to form, Mahler composed the work at a relatively happy time in his life.

Here are a couple of facts about Mahler 6 that you might not know:

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Violin Heroics à la Mahler

There's no shortage of media coverage surrounding The Mahler Project - it's a big project, after all - but one of the more interesting perspectives on the whole thing is coming from Laurie Niles, the editor of Violinist.com.


Laurie Martin and LA Phil Principal Concertmaster Martin Chalifour, courtesy of Violinist.com

As you might expect, her coverage is a little skewed towards the violin player - notes about tunings and tempos abound - but it's also got some gems, such as an interview with LA Phil Concertmaster Martin Chalifour where he discusses the instrument he plays as well as the challenges posed by the requirement of actually switching violins during Mahler 4.

You can read all of Laurie's coverage here.

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