Apr 14, 2022
Two events, occurring on the same day, drove Mahler to the brink. His daughter Maria died at the age of just 4, and Mahler himself was diagnosed with a heart condition that would prove to be fatal. He became consumed even more so than he ever was before with the idea of death, the afterlife, and all the philosophical trials and travails that came with these thoughts. These ideas of death did not come only from his own sense of loss and grief; they were about his place in history, and how he would be remembered. The 9th symphony explores all of these questions in a remarkably powerful way. The symphony sets up two poles: acceptance and struggle, and then wavers between them for its duration, vacillating between desperately clinging to life, and accepting and letting go. Leonard Bernstein famously said that the symphonies' 4 movements represent 4 ways for Mahler to say farewell, but they could just as easily be 4 movements for Mahler to say he will be here forever. Join us today for part 1 to discuss the first movement of this monumental symphony!