13 Apr 2011

Gustav Mahler - officially and currently my favorite not-living composer

The frequency of my writing is decreasing. Last time, instead about just mentioning of some interesting things, I decided to write a long post about a one of them. Maybe I should just shortly tell you what curious I experience through the time (although surely I won't/wouldn't mention about everything), but I'm not sure if I'll manage to do that. It's just when I start to write about something it is hard to me mentioning more of it, however bad or good I do it.

Last Saturday was very special for me (02.04.11). I was at the philharmonic at the concert of Gustav Mahler second symphony. Currently he is my very favorite not-living composer (even though I know only 3 symphonies, 4 songs of him and well... Bach suite, but he only arranged that, so I don't think we should bear in mind this work). Obviously I prefer symphonies than songs. I'm still trying to decide which one most: 1st, 2nd or 5th?
1st is amazing, but...off. Why? The shortest one and the easiest one. It's very powerful, generally speaking. You can enjoy listening it, however, it is not somehow "ambitious" like 2nd and 5th. Try to listen "Sturmisch Bewegt", the final movement.
So... 5th or 2nd? Both of them I had an occasion to listen to live, but with other conductors (5th - Krzysztof Urbański, 2nd - Marek Pijarowski), I think these interpretations were equally good.
5th has this awesome (yet again) "Sturmisch Bewegt" as a 2nd movement. This composition earned most of all plays in my last.fm library of Gustav Mahler.
As for the 2nd symphony, amazing is the 1st movement, but... Even more the final (part e from 5th movement), with choir and 2  voices (soprano and alto).

Even though I listened to both works several times, I still don't think I do understand them good enough. And that is the point. I think here we just have a draw. I suppose I need even more time to the final judgement. I also think I must to know all of Mahler's symphonies before that.

I want to share with you the few performances of my beloved movements I found on YT:

Symphony No. 1 in D major "Titan":

4. Stürmisch bewegt

Symphony No. 2 in C minor "Resurrection":
 1. Allegro maestoso. Mit durchaus ernstem und feierlichem Ausdruck

5e. "O glaube, mein Herz, o glaube"

Symphony No. 5 in C sharp minor 

2. Stürmisch bewegt. Mit größter Vehemenz

Maybe you are curious as to why in the title of my today's post I wrote "not-living" and if there is someone else I prefer. Well... I think you know about who it is all about. I really am going to write about Hisaishi-san more, you just have to wait little longer.
And by the way. Last time I "discovered" an another fascinating and not very good known composer - Ralph Vaughan Williams. After few plays of his 1st Sea Symphony (choral) I'm in love with it. Is he that good as Mahler? We will see.

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