News

30-07-2020 News from our friends at the Médiathèque Musicale Mahler (MMM).

The last known photograph of Gustav Mahler (Year 1911)

In our recent newsletter, we communicated our wish to present François Letienne’s archival work and research on newspaper clippings centered on the figure of Gustav Mahler; a voluntary work generously made available to the Médiathèque Musicale Mahler (MMM)

Without further delay, we are delighted to share with you a recent and overwhelming discovery: the last known photograph of Gustav Mahler. This moving picture, taken on 12 May 1911 at the arrival of the train that brought Mahler back to Vienna from Paris, only six days before his death, was published on 18 May in the Austrian newspaper Das interessante Blatt (1882-1939). As far as we know, it has not been published since then. It does not figure in any edition of the reference book published by Gilbert Kaplan, The Mahler Album (Kaplan Foundation/Thames & Hudson, 2011), which includes a great number of Mahler’s photographs.

This publication should arise the interest of Mahlerians and touch them. Such was Professor Peter Franklin’s reaction :

'This picture is astonishing ! I feel I have seen it in my dreams, but nowhere else. It is exactly as Alma described with reference to getting him on to the train in Paris. Presumably Carl Moll, Professor Chvostek and Alma would be in the cluster behind the stretcher, which looks grimly more like a coffin. Very moved to see this. Poor though the quality, the sense of the moment is extraordinarly vivid. How many more such pictures may yet lurk in fragments of old magazines and papers lining trunks in dusty attics. What a find !'.

Thanks to Peter Franklin, François Letienne, Vincent Mouret, Alena Parthonnaud and Anna Stoll-Knecht.

See Das interessante Blatt (1882-1939).

Due to the enormous success of the first two 'Mahler Hours', Mahler Foundation has decided to organize a monthly Mahler Hour from now on.

The monthly Mahler Hour is on the first Tuesday of each month. Starting on September 1, 2020.

These meetings are free and can be followed on the Mahler Foundation Facebook page.

Start at 09:00 Mexico, 10:00 New York, 15:00 London, 16:00 Vienna, 22:00 Shanghai.

Recordings of the first two Mahler Hours can be found here:

 

 

 

The Embrace Everything series is an exploration and celebration of the music of Gustav Mahler. Each season explores a different Mahler symphony and includes interviews with leading conductors, music scholars and musicians. Additionally, Mahler’s own words and those of his contemporaries will be read by actors. 

Season 1 focuses on Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 in D major (1888), taking listeners back to the work’s origins in the street songs, folk tunes and bugle calls of Mahler’s childhood. Guests include conductors Kent Nagano and Michael Tilson Thomas; principal musicians of the Boston Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam; and scholars from Columbia University and the University of Chicago.

This is the first of four parts, all of them being released on July 7th.

Written, produced and hosted by Aaron Cohen

Mahler turns 160!

Second Mahler Hour by Mahler Foundation.

Featuring: Marina Mahler, Aaron Cohen, Eveline Nikkels, Joost Honselaar, Thomas Hampson, Francisco Bricio and others.

Host: Morten Solvik.

Recorded: July 7, 2020.

A new edition will be released on June 12, 2020: Briefwechsel Alma Mahler - Allert de Lange Verlag, a publication of the Gustav Mahler Stichting Nederland, delivered by Matthijs Boumans and Eveline Nikkels.

In March 1940, Alma Mahler's book Gustav Mahler, Erinnerungen und Briefe was published by the Dutch publisher Allert de Lange. It was an exciting time because an upcoming catastrophe was in the air, but was not felt by many yet. Because there was no place in Vienna from 1938 for a publication with a "Jewish touch," Alma decided to move to Amsterdam and contacted Allert de Lange.

Dr. Landauer bringt jetzt mein Mahlerbuch heraus. Die Stunde ist ungunstig - aber wann wird sie gunstiger sein (Dr. Landauer is now publishing my Mahler book. The hour is bad - but when will it be better)? Alma Mahler, 09-02-1940.

In preparation for her planned publication, Alma Mahler corresponded with Walter Landauer (1902-1944), the leader of the German-speaking division of the publishing house, but it did not stop there. Our investigation revealed that both also corresponded with Ernst Polak, a literary critic and friend of Franz Werfel (1890-1945), who provided critical comments to Alma's manuscript, which she had already started in the 1920s, and did not spare her!

The correspondence between Alma Mahler (1879-1964) and Walter Landauer (1902-1944) is included in the Briefwechsel in its entirety. The most relevant of the letters from and to Ernst Polak are included. The Briefwechsel contains a total of 134 letters.

In addition to the letters, this (illustrated) edition also contains a foreword and afterword, an introduction, footnotes and endnotes, and a register of persons. On the front we see Alma with a defiant look, on the back is an interesting comment from Marina Mahler about her grandmother. All texts are in German.

The total volume is 212 pages. The intention was of course to offer this publication during the Mahler festival. That may not have been the case, but we are proud that we can now offer it, as it were, in the wake of it. It is a true document humain in which Alma's fear of the future is also increasingly tangible.

To order

The price is € 25 per copy. For the Netherlands the packaging and shipping costs are € 6 and for abroad € 15. We request that you transfer the required amount (€ 31 and € 40 per copy) to bank account number IBAN NL 29 INGB 0000 145677 t.n.v. Gustav Mahler Stichting Nederland in Alkmaar, stating your name, full address and the number of copies. 

 

Link: List of new information added to the Mahler Foundation website.

 

Sorting: Last update first.

For the third time in its history the Concertgebouw is organising a major tribute to Gustav Mahler. In 1920 the first ‘Mahler Fest’ took place in Amsterdam, for the occasion of Willem Mengelberg’s 25th anniversary as chief conductor of the Concertgebouw Orchestra. Under his direction, the Concertgebouw Orchestra performed all of Mahler's symphonies. Alma, the widow of Gustav Mahler, was the guest of honour.

Three quarters of a century later, in 1995, the second festival devoted to Mahler took place. The planned third festival in May 2020 had to be replaced by the Mahler Festival Online due to the Corona crisis. As an alternative, the Concertgebouw is organising a new Mahler Festival in 2021:

Mahler Festival 2021 Amsterdam

 

Mahler Around the World

This event brings together people from all over the world with a purpose to pay tribute to the great composer Gustav Mahler, on his 109th death anniversary.

The live streaming hosted organizations and people dedicated to share and celebrate Mahler's life and work: representatives of Mahler Societies, legendary Baritone Thomas HampsonHet Concertgebouw Amsterdam Artistic Coordinator Marian van der Meer, Conductors Alejandra Urrutia, and Kahchun Wong, Conductor and Musicologist Sybille Werner, the President of Mahler Foundation Marina Mahler-the composer's granddaughter and our host, Morten Solvik, musicologist and Mahler expert.

Next Mahler Hour: Tuesday 07-07-2020 (160th Anniversary Gustav Mahler).

Ten new Mahler documentaries

Mahler Foundation and Het Concertgebouw have commissioned ten new documentaries on the occasion of the Mahler Festival 2020 in Amsterdam (from 8 to 17 May 2020). These short films on Mahler's nine symphonies and Das Lied von der Erde, narrated by Marina Mahler and featuring conversations with such artists as Jessye Norman and Thomas Hampson, bring new insights, stories and points of view. Though the Mahler celebration has been cancelled in the concert hall, we are proud to go online to present these films as originally planned: in succession on each day of the Festival. We hope you will enjoy them and that - now more than ever - they will allow you to experience these musical masterpieces with a new awareness.

Join Mahler Foundation for The Song Of The Earth on Earth Day!

Three Inspiring Films for Earth Day 2020

Gustav Mahler once said: "I want to be remembered as the 'Singer of Nature,'", and no work better captures his profound connection to our lives on this planet than this masterpiece.

On Earth Day, April 22, we will be streaming three time-limited special presentations of Das Lied von der Erde (The Song Of The Earth).

Links and password will expire once Earth Day is over.

A beautiful documentary by Jason Starr, "Everywhere and Forever - Mahler's Song of the Earth" (TV Version)
https://vimeo.com/258263874

Das Lied von der Erde with Thomas Hampson, Paul Groves, Neeme Järvi, and the OSR - Orchester de la Suisse Romande
https://vimeo.com/410169471

A mini-documentary on "The Titel's Meaning: Then and Now."
https://vimeo.com/145094560

Presented by Mahler Foundation in collaboration with Cultural Media Collaborative.

 

In August 1892 a cholera epidemic struck Hamburg as Mahler was on his way there to conduct another season at the Stadttheater. Faced with possibly drastic consequences and defying orders that he return to his workplace, he decided to retreat to his summer vacation spot in Berchtesgaden until the worst was over.

Faced with a pandemic affecting all of us, we, too, must act prudently, so it is both understandable and very sad that the Mahler Festival 2020 cannot take place as scheduled this May. Mahler Foundation has worked hard to support Het Concertgebouw Amsterdam in preparing this celebration of Mahler's life and works.

Our thoughts go out to all of the musicians and organizers and to all of you.

Mahler survived the crisis, and shortly thereafter set to work on his next creation: The Resurrection Symphony.

World map with all the locations visited by Gustav Mahler. The map also contains other Gustav Mahler related locations such as the Mahler Societies and the Mahler Foundation.

Link to the Gustav Mahler world map.

Gustav Mahler: A green composer

'In Mahler’s time, although industrialisation was in full swing, there was not yet a tangible threat to nature. Nevertheless, Mahler was highly aware of the value of nature. He wrote extensively on the subject, stating that the human spirit is dependent on its environment and that if ecosystems break down, our species will vanish as well. This idea has only become more relevant in the twenty-first century, and makes Mahler’s music and ideas more topical than ever.’ 

Marina Mahler, Gustav Mahler’s granddaughter and founder of the Mahler Foundation

In the course of 2020, the Mahler Foundation website will be available in different languages. Languages can be recognized by the small flags at the top right of the homepage.

Latest developments can be found in the Gustav Mahler legacy.

 

This long awaited revised volume I completes Henry-Louis de La Grange (1924-2017)'s four-volumes. The present instalment, covering the years 1860 to 1897, traces the life and career of Mahler from his birth in a small village in Bohemia to his appointment to the Vienna Hofoper, then the most prestigious opera house in the world. It describes his family background, his student days at the Vienna Conservatory, his private life, and his burgeoning career as both conductor and composer.

Some of his major works – starting with Das Klagende Lied (1881), the early Wunderhorn songs, Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen and the first three symphonies date from this period of his life. Completed, revised and edited by Sybille Werner.

https://mahlerfoundation.org/you/books

828 p., 58 b/w ill., 210 x 260 mm, 2020
ISBN: 978-2-503-58814-8
Language: English

The Amsterdam Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (RCO) came to a top three: Andris Nelsons, Ivan Fischer (1951) and, surprisingly, Valery Gergiev. Now it has to come to an agreement with one of them.

Ivan Fischer (1951)

Jaap van Zweden (1960) is missing in the top three of the most wanted candidates for the vacant position of chief conductor with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. The Amsterdammer, who started his career as a violinist with the Concertgebouw Orchestra and has been the chief of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra (NYPO/NPO) since 2018, was seen by a large part of the public and the press as a dream candidate. However, he appears to have never been seriously considered by the orchestra itself, reports members who want to remain anonymous.

The three conductors who are on the shortlist are Andris Nelsons (41), Iván Fischer (69) and, the biggest surprise, Valery Gergiev (66). Sources from and around the Concertgebouw Orchestra report this. Last Saturday (25-01-2020) the members of the orchestra were able to vote for these three. The results have not yet been communicated to the musicians.

The management will approach the person with the most votes and try to reach an agreement. A press officer said that no statements were made about the process.

Remarkably, Daniele Gatti (1961), the chief conductor who had to leave in 2018 after accusations of inappropriate sexual behavior, was on the long list that the orchestra members themselves had put together. Gatti ended with the eight most mentioned maestro's. There is still a considerable group of musicians who find his resignation unfair and are happy to see him return.

The Concertgebouw Orchestra is traditionally counted among the best symphony orchestras in the world, but must be creative to maintain that status: many orchestras have more money. That is one of the reasons - the other most important is time - that it is not yet a foregone conclusion that one of the remaining candidates says yes to the RCO.

Andris Nelsons (1978)

Fischer and Andris Nelsons were also high on the wish list last time. Fischer, a Hungarian, is one of the rare conductors who can lead both a convincing St Matthew Passion and a Wagner opera. He is known among musicians for his experimental drive, but also for his stubbornness. He puts his energy mainly in the Budapest Festival Orchestra, which he founded, but also wants to make time to compose more.

Nelsons seems the least controversial candidate, but already has two top orchestras. The Latvian, who excels in the symphonies of Bruckner and Shostakovich, is very successful with his Gewandhausorchester from Leipzig and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. His contract in the US expires in 2023.

Valery Gergiev (1953)

The fact that the RCO attracts Gergiev will not be appreciated in Rotterdam: from 1995 to 2008 he was head of the Rotterdam Philharmonic and has his own festival there. Gergiev knows how to apply tension like no other, but that tension is partly caused by his habit of showing up late and hardly rehearsing. No conductor performs as much as he does.

Moreover, there are political sensitivities. Gergiev expressed his support for the Russian annexation of South Ossetia and Crimea. In 2013, an international riot arose after the conductor, friend of President Vladimir Putin, in a Volkskrant interview did not respond negatively to Russian law against "gay propaganda". He then said that he was not anti-gay. Gergiev guarantees a fuss. And noise, they also know in Amsterdam, there has been enough around the orchestra in the last two years.

Expected early 2020: All photos from the Gustav and Alma Mahler family photo albums.

Help us identify everyone on the photos by adding your comments.

Copyright: Marina Mahler (1943).

Performances in Hong Kong and Amsterdam of the 1924 Willem Mengelberg (1871-1951) version of Symphony No. 10.

  • 13-12-2019 Hong Kong: Symphony No. 10 - Adagio and Purgatorio. Philharmonic Orchestra, Jaap van Zweden. First performance since 1924 of Willem Mengelberg’s performing version. Cultural Centre Concert Hall, World Premiere (Revision).
  • 08-01-2020 Amsterdam: Symphony No. 10 - Adagio and Purgatorio. Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Jaap van Zweden. First performance since 1924 of Willem Mengelberg’s performing version.

More: History Symphony No. 10.

Photo: A part of the Gustav Mahler score of Symphony No. 10 (Movement 3).

On January 1, 2020 the Mahler Foundation launched a new website on which all activities of the Mahler Foundation can be found as well as information about life and work of Gustav Mahler.

The address of the new website is https://mahlerfoundation.org

This website replaces the old mahlerfoundation.org, mahlerfoundation.info, mahlerfoundation.net and mahlerfoundation.com and is multilingual.

Hints: bookmark the site, no 'www' needed.

More details were found of Gustav Mahlers baptismal ceremony in 1887 in Hamburg in the St. Michael's church small.

Mariss Jansons (1943-2019) died on Sunday 01-12-2019 in St. Petersburg, Russia.