Mahler Marathon

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

WQXR celebrates Gustav Mahler’s 150th birthday with a special, online-only stream. Each day for a week, dive deep into Mahler’s repertoire and discover the creative mind behind some of the twentieth century’s most significant works.

Though Mahler's compositions were often considered impenetrable and challenging in his time, they have become highly regarded and admired in ours.

Mahler expert and Mad About Music host Gilbert Kaplan created an annotated bibliography of Mahler books that provide the best insight into his life and works.

Our special stream kicks off with three days of the Mahler symphonies, aired in sequence without interruption and performed by a range of top conductors and orchestras.


July 7, 2010

July 8, 2010

July 9, 2010

July 10, 2010

July 11, 2010

July 12, 2010

July 13, 2010

July 14, 2010


Mahler Scholar

Norman Lebrecht is one of the most widely-read modern scholars on music, culture and politics. His new book, Why Mahler?, comes out this fall. He stopped by the WQXR studios to explain exactly that: Why Mahler?

Is Mahler's 10th Symphony finished? is there a definitive version?

Is Mahler all about death?

Why Mahler?


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Comments [12]

Carol Luparella from Elmwood Park, NJ

I completely agree with Ward McFarland - please keep this special program on forever! This way, whenever we feel the need for some Mahler, we can just tune right in. I have been listening almost non-stop since it began. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! I am already a monthly supporter of WQXR, but I am going to send out an extra contribution (as soon as I can tear myself away from my computer!)

Jul. 13 2010 07:32 PM
Ward McFarland from CT

Only a week for this anniversary special? You could keep this channel running indefinitely, as far as I am concerned - I cannot bring myself to tune away from it. Since many of Mahler's works are too long to really fit in your regular programming, the alternate channel was a very ingenious solution.

For those that do not care for Mahler, they are not obligated to listen to it - they have WQXR and Q2 running their normal programming.

The only thing I would add would be giving us information about the performers of each selection.

Jul. 13 2010 08:09 AM
betty davis from akron, ohio

this has been so special--I have been listening off and on for days and enjoying it immensely. especially enjoyed hearing the cleveland (which we heard live last night at Blossom Music Center.

Jul. 11 2010 03:05 PM
Richard Bankart

You have asked for comments on Mahler. Can't wait for your fawning celebration to end

The Adagio is a perfect example of why some of us can't abide much of Mahler.

The adagio was without melody. It seemed to roam aimlessly around some theme that simply is not there.

I know you are all floating with exhultation, but Mahler is like a very absract painting or most modern poetry. It simply is incomprehensible - though all "thoughful" people think it wonderful

I'm reminded of "The Emperor's New Clothes"

Please move on

Jul. 09 2010 03:55 PM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from

Of course, it is easier for a composer to recognize and comprehend the "architectural" elements of a composition, than it would be for the average music lover. I have been a composer since age 12, and have completed two operas: "Shakespeare" and "The Political Shakespeare" MAHLER's music is, I repeat, for a composer easily identified, and his signature in terms of mood or emotion, if you will concede, is a matter of personal "chemistry" I am also a Wagnerian heldentenor and on my "Ten Language" Solo Debut concert in the main hall of Carnegie Hall, now named the Isaac Stern Auditorium, I sang the complete Mahler "Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen" [ 13'29"] as part of my 3 hour long concert Sunday April 24, 1955, the longest solo singer concert 'til then. 5:30 PM to 8:50 PM. One may download, FREE, the entire cycle plus an additional 33 other complete selections from 4 solo concerts at the same venue, by downloading from "Recorded Selections" on my website:
Valhalla Records has my Carnegie Hall concerts on CD sets. I am the director of the Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, where students are coached in singing and speech technique and, for big voices, in the Wagner opera roles and, for actors, the Shakespeare roles.

Jul. 08 2010 06:07 PM

Have been listening for two days straight; now switching over to hear the Shostakovich 5th -- and it's like an extension of the same experience -- the slow movement at least. SUCH a clear influence was Mahler on S.
Thank you for offering this chance to immerse ourselves in this thrilling, overwhelming, beautiful music-- and to hear different conductors' interpretations.

Jul. 08 2010 02:33 PM
Gev from Ocean Grove, New Jersey

In this tropic-like heat wave, it's more like Mahleria than Mahler Marathon ...

Jul. 07 2010 01:43 PM
Gev from Ocean Grove, New Jersey

Whoa. Got through six of the symphonies in 103F heat. By the time I hit the sixth, I started hearing klezmer music for military band. I wonder how much of Mahler's style was an honest blend of boyhood influences or Mahler's way of staying connected to Judaism--and razzing society--after he was forced to convert to Catholicism in order to become director of the Vienna Hofoper.

Jul. 07 2010 01:40 PM
Kenneth Bennett Lane from Lake Hiawatha, NJ

Start early when youth's zeal, time availability, and those extra "brain cells" accommodate the new and untried. Mahler's youth and whole lifespan was plagued, however, despite his genius as composer and conductor by his misanthropic nature and his short stature. His sleepwalking and zombie-like waking hours behavior did not endear him to those unaware of his prodigious compositional talent and output. At 12 years old I heard Toscanini's earlier recording of Wagner's Rhine Journey and Funeral Music from "Coetterdaemmerung" conducting the New York Philharmonic.

Jul. 04 2010 12:56 PM
Kenneth Bennett Lane from Lake Hiawatha, NJ

GUSTAV MAHLER born on July 7, 1870 in Bohemia, deceased in Vienna,January 11, 1911 was the precocious son of a Jewish trader who lavished all his meager salary on his son's education. At age 4, Mahler "cloned" musically on his father's accordion the music he overheard from the neighboring military garrison at Iglau. So proficient had be become as a pianist that he was admitted to the prestigious Vienna Conservatory at the age of 15. There his composition teacher was the eminent symphonist Anton Bruchner, who inculcated the tyro with the greater theatrical values and accomplishments inherent in WAGNER's music dramas over conventional opera theretofore. Trying his hand at composing opera for a cash reward he composed "Das Klagende Lied." Unsuccessful, SO FAR as a composer, he turned to conducting. His inspiration turned veteran singers and instrumentalists into a more homogenous ensemble. Mahler was offered the prestigious cachet of directorship of the Imperial Opera House in Vienna if he would first convert to Catholism. There was no question about how much they needed him. Jealousy reared its ugly head and Mahler after modernizing and bringing opera production many leagues ahead, was fired. This undermined his already frail health and aggravated his heart condition and robbed him of his "drive." He was invited to conduct at the "Met" Opera and the New York Philharmonic, which he reorganized to making it a leading symphony. Mahler collapsed at the podium during a concert in 1910 and, perforce, returned home to Vienna, where he died in 1911. His 10 symphonies and "Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen" are among his major compositions.

Jul. 04 2010 11:45 AM


The Special Program tab to the right of WNYC AM 820 will be playing the Mahler Marathon.

Jul. 01 2010 10:00 AM

105.9 stream or Q2?

Jun. 30 2010 06:14 PM

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