Mahler’s Legacy

150th Anniversary of Gustav Mahler’s Birth: A Two-Hour Special Edition

« previous episode | next episode »

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

“My Time Will Come.” It sure has. It would be hard to name a composer more popular today than Gustav Mahler or one whose music delivers a more emotional wallop. Host Gilbert Kaplan explores, with more than 50 musical excerpts, just what is it about Mahler’s music that confronts us so powerfully; that touches us in such a personal way.

“A Symphony Must be like the World, it Must Embrace Everything.” And Mahler’s symphonies do. Every emotion possible appears in Mahler’s music--hope, despair, yearning, love.

“My Music Contains Everything I have Experienced and Endured.” Mahler drew on his inner world to express intense feelings in music. “Mahler’s Legacy” sweeps up the joy, the tragedy, the sheer life of Mahler’s tale--as told by one of our foremost Mahler authorities.

This ground-breaking program will captivate music lovers.

Symphony No. 1. Bavarian Radio Symphony. Rafael Kubelik. Deutsche Grammophon 463 738-2.

Symphony No. 2. Vienna Philharmonic. Vienna Singverein. Gilbert Kaplan. Latonia Moore, Nadja Michael. Deutsche Grammophon 474 380-2.

Symphony No. 3. Bavarian Radio Symphony. Rafael Kubelik. Bavarian Radio Chorus and Tölzer Children’s Choir. Marjorie Thomas. Deutsche Grammophon 463 738-2.

Symphony No 4. Cleveland Orchestra. George Szell. Judith Raskin Sony 46535.

Symphony No. 5. Bavarian Radio Symphony. Rafael Kubelik. Deutsche Grammophon 463 738-2. Adagietto movement. London Symphony. Gilbert Kaplan. Conifer Classics 75605 51277.

Symphony No. 6. London Philharmonic. Klaus Tennstedt. EMI CDC 7 470512.

Symphony No. 7. Chicago Symphony. James Levine. RCA RCD24581.

Symphony No. 8. Vienna Philharmonic. Vienna Singverein, Vienna State Opera Chorus, Vienna Boys Choir. Leonard Bernstein. Margaret Price, Judith Blegen, Gerti Zeumer, Trudeliese Schmidt, Agnes Baltsa, Kenneth Riegel, Hermann Prey, José Van Dam. Deutsche Grammophon 459 096 2.

Symphony No. 9. Berlin Philharmonic. Herbert von Karajan. Deutsche Grammophon 439024-2.

Symphony No. 10. St. Louis Symphony. Leonard Slatkin. RCA B000003FX7.

Das Lied von der Erde. New Philharmonia. Otto Klemperer. Christa Ludwig. Fritz Wunderlich. EMI B000TENNTM.

Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen. “Songs of a Wayfarer” (“Song of the Earth”). Bavarian Radio Symphony. Rafael Kubelik. Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. Deutsche Grammophon 463 516-2.

Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen („I am Lost to the World“). Berlin Philharmonic. Karl Böhm. Fischer-Dieskau. Deutsche Grammophon. Deutsche Grammophon 463 516-2.

Piano Quartet. Domus. Virgin 7243 5 61615 2.

Comments [21]


For the opening of the first movement of the Third Symphony, played by eight horns, Mahler draws on the melody of the last movement of Brahms’ First Symphony.

Jul. 19 2010 05:32 PM


The recording used for "Das Lied von der Erde" is EMI with Otto Klemperer, the New Philharmonia, Christa Ludwig and Fritz Wunderlich. We just added a complete list of recordings used in this program if you're wondering about any of the others.

Jul. 19 2010 05:30 PM


We have made this program available for streaming online. Enjoy listening to it anytime you like.

Jul. 19 2010 05:24 PM
William Price

The incontrovertible result of the broadcast is a broader understanding of the sesquicentennial of the birth of Gustav Mahler. His impact was panoramic in both the cultural and musical worlds he inhabited. Bravo for the bradcast and subsequent rebroadcast during the week.His time has surely come both as a conductor and composer. Amen

Jul. 14 2010 06:08 PM
barbara stehle from jersey city

The program was fascinating, is there any other programming of it? Is it possible to purchase it? I have been a long time Mahler fan and I truly enjoyed Gilbert Kaplan's commentary.

Jul. 12 2010 08:21 AM
Frank Coffee from NYC

I was riveted to the radio. A beautiful and moving tribute. Bravo, Maestro Kaplan!

Jul. 11 2010 11:57 PM
William Lee from Brooklyn, NY

Re Neal Rauch's comment: There may not be any recordings of Mahler playing or conducting, but there are two CD imports available on of "Mahler Plays Mahler", remastered from the original Welte-Mignon piano rolls (one of them digitally). They are quite amazing.

Jul. 11 2010 11:46 PM
William Lee from Brooklyn, NY

Fantastic program! I am a Mahler fanatic and have long been an admirer of Gilbert Kaplan's interpretations. Will this program be made available in downloadable podcast or other format -- or at least will a transcript be made available? Thank you WQXR for this week-long Mahler tribute.

Jul. 11 2010 10:15 PM
Neal Rauch from Brooklyn

Great show. I do have one correction, though. There certainly were classical recordings before 1911 (the year Mahler died) - Enrico Caruso started recording in 1902. There's an 1889 cylinder recording of Johannes Brahms at the piano performing a segment of his First Hungarian Dance. They may sound lousy - certainly by today's standards - but they were made. Too bad Mahler never recorded any.
Loved the program, though.

Jul. 08 2010 01:43 PM
Gev from Ocean Grove, New Jersey

The program was a treat--a brilliant summary of Mahler's life and work. Had no idea he had added those clarinets to the Eroica. Wow, I never before thought of the influence of Hungarian music on Beethoven, though all things Hungarian were the rage when young Beethoven arrived in Vienna ...

Jul. 08 2010 07:45 AM

Mr Kaplan did a fantastic job. I had no idea he was this good. Nice voice, great presentation. I knew some of this info before, but some was new to me.

I'd also like to know which recording of DAS LIED was used, the tenor is superb

Jul. 08 2010 06:18 AM
Nicole Collins from New York City

This is a moving and revelatory tribute--insightful, and composed with such care and identification that it brought tears to my eyes at times. Thank you.

Jul. 07 2010 11:26 PM
Sebastian from New York

A million thanks for this wonderful program. Excellent!

Jul. 07 2010 11:04 PM
Enid from Ridgewood NJ

What recording of Das Lied are we being treated to??

Jul. 07 2010 10:25 PM
Gev from Ocean Grove, New Jersey

Mahler wasn't 51 when he died. You've got to wonder how the First World War would have affected his musical style and output had he lived another ten years.

Jul. 07 2010 10:11 PM
Chris from NYC

Please, please can I get a least a transcript?
How about a re-airing?

Wonderful show.

Jul. 07 2010 10:09 PM
james morgan

Great stuff! How can I get a recording of this?

Jul. 07 2010 10:04 PM
Jonathan Sternberg from Philadelphia


Jul. 07 2010 09:59 PM
Gev from Ocean Grove, New Jersey

Did I miss Mr. Kaplan mention the name of the song (hymn?) that opens Mahler's Third? Brahms uses the same melody in one of his symphonies. Alas, my brain is full and I'm a little too tired from all the heat to remember precisely where Brahms uses it ...

Jul. 07 2010 09:41 PM
Kenneth Bennett Lane from Lake Hiawatha, NJ

Gustav Mahler brought both the symphony orchestra and the production of operas into their modern day high technical prowess and, in the case if opera, to dramatic verity, not just stand and sing. Orchestras were inspired to take the challenge of demanding of themselves a technical proficiency to do new works requiring a greater discipline and technique.

Jul. 07 2010 06:28 PM
carmela devito from new york,ny

I am a new convert to classical music expecially the music of Gustav Mahler as interpreted by Michael Tilson Thomas- i am very grateful and appreciative that this marathon as well as other special programming is taking place this week

Jul. 07 2010 12:23 PM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.