Naomi Lewin, WQXR Host
Naomi Lewin is the weekday afternoon host on WQXR, and the host of the weekly podcast Conducting Business.
Gustav Mahler was born 150 years ago this week and we're celebrating with a week-long "Mahlerfest" on WQXR.org. Check it out!
To celebrate the Mahler anniversary, British music commentator Norman Lebrecht has published a book called Why Mahler? (due out in the U.S. this October). A surprising number of music-lovers ask that question with disdain, rather than love, in their voices.
I have a friend--a serious concert-goer, with symphony, opera and chamber music subscriptions--who avoids any program that contains Mahler. When I asked why, he said he finds Mahler’s music “unemotional, with wild discord and no interesting theme; a jumble of tunes where nothing comes out right.”
I have exactly the opposite reaction to Mahler: I love hearing all the melodies from Mahler songs that pop up in his symphonies, which move me deeply. And as a singer, I love performing his music.
How about you? When it comes to Mahler, which camp do you fall into?