Sunday, June 05, 2011

My First Exposure to Mahler

I remember the first time I heard the music of Gustav Mahler. I was thirteen years old. It was August of the year 1967.  It was a few weeks before I started high school.  I turned on the radio.  I heard music that grabbed my attention instantly.  It was a choral work, the likes of which I had never heard before.  I had to find out what the music was, who had written it.  It was, of course, the Mahler Eighth Symphony, the so-called Symphony of a Thousand.  I know that was the first time I had heard Mahler's music.  I don't know if I had even heard of Mahler before that.

I was watching a YouTube video of the conductor Michael Tilson Thomas talking about his first exposure to Mahler's music.  He too was thirteen years old the first time he heard Mahler.

1 comment:

Gary Freedman said...

This is the portion of Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde that Michael Tilson Thomas talks about: the first Mahler he had ever heard at age 13.

Oddly enough, this was the same recording that first exposed me to this music. I heard this on the radio on a Sunday in, I believe, early March 1969, when I was 15 years old.

Sidney Rothstein was doing several movements from Das Lied at The Music Factory.