Tag Archives: Gustav Mahler

#Minnegeddon — an orientation for beginners…

During Wolfgang Mozart’s life on earth it was pretty much a given that wherever he went he was surrounded by controversy.  Wolf may have brought some of it upon himself, as he was also known to have a wicked and sarcastic tongue, and to frequently lack empathy toward the plight of others of what he perceived to be lesser musical gifts.  At the same time, here was someone who was extraordinary to the point of being entirely different from others, with a unique quality that everyone sensed but refused to intentionally confirm to him.  There was, in fact, a mystery, as to why it was he apparently had unlimited access to the realms of music of genius while being in a constant state of turmoil in the natural world. 

It is my thinking that he created a vortex of energy that was fed upon and into by others.  I think it was such that when he entered a room there was probably even a sense of dread.  Nobody knew for sure what made him different, but he was different…and he was quickly perceived as a threat.  It was not only his talent that was threatening, it was something almost undefinable… It was something that essentially seemed to infer that it was either ‘him’ or ‘them’…that the two energies could not exist together.  

And so, Wolf was poisoned.  Perhaps literally, but not necessarily. His relationships, his garnering income, his establishing a powerhouse of a musical legacy for his family, what today we can easily call the “Mozart G’zillions,” were poisoned with petty and negative thoughts and attitudes.  His enemies probably rejoiced that he was gone forever.  However, that was not exactly the case.  The vortex of energy that swirled around him did not die with him.  It continued to gain power as time went by.

It is my thinking that some people deliberately tried to put themselves into this vortex.  Others may have slid into it, through an act of fate.  One of the latter, I believe, was Gustav Mahler.  I think he brought this vortex to America.  Some time after that, a local orchestra decided to change its name from that of a city to something that closely resembled the name of Wolf’s character “Monostatos”, in Die Zauberflote.  If I am correct, the center of the vortex is in that place, in fact, on the stage at that Hall.  The truth of his vision is becoming reality.  A battle between darkness and light is being waged full-force.  

And that is Minnegeddon.

Two worlds coming together? Mozart and JFK?

For some years, I have worked  both to demonstrate my credentials in the world of music (www.themagicflute.org) and to fulfill a commitment as a citizen of our country to share information regarding the limousine in which JFK was riding when he was killed(ss100x.com).  Normally, these two worlds appear to operate independently.  There does not seem to be much of a common denominator between them, with the exception of the fact that both Mozart and JFK were Catholic.

Recent events, however, seem to be taking somewhat curious turns.  As the outcome of musical events here is in the last stages (or death throes, as it were) of being determined, a somewhat eccentric piece of my JFK researcher world who lives half-a-world-away has re-entered my life, and may, in fact, be coming to Minneapolis.  Here is a blog I have maintained on the claims of Judyth Baker (findingjudyth.blogspot.com)

As I prepare to present on the limo in Dallas, at the end of November a performance with a somewhat esoteric connection of the Mahler 2, one of my favorite works,  is scheduled in Minneapolis (http://msomn.org/2013-2014-season/november-24-2013/).

Hmmm….well, I always do love a good mystery…:-0

Why Mahler, indeed?

I have just received my own copy of Norman Lebrecht’s classic book on Gustav Mahler, called “Why Mahler?”  I borrowed the book often from the library, but realized not long ago that my relationship with it had gone beyond the point of being able to hand it back.  I needed my own copy that I could tag and mark up.  It is that good.

Reading Mr. Lebrecht’s introduction made me think once again of my own introduction to Mahler and his music.  Though I had heard of him, known he was labelled the ‘prophet of doom’, and had written a lot of very sad music, I never sought Mahler out during the years when I borrowed every classical record available from our local library.  Too dense, too intense.  I was afraid of it.  And rightly so.

But then life dealt me and my family a nasty jolt.  A family member nearly died by their own hand.  It took years for me to even be grateful they had survived.  Such was the tortuous and snarled world of ‘mental illness’.  It was as though one fell off a tightrope into depression or unmanageable anxiety. There was simply nothing good about it.  In this case, it had become my conviction that another family member may have even bullied and traumatized this person into having a breakdown.  The possibility of the threat of a near-by predator became just as terrifying as that of the events that unfolded.  There was no way out.  There was simply ‘down’.  I felt isolated.  I lived by music.  I immersed myself in whatever called to me, and always found myself strengthened and somehow less helpless.  But I lived alone with all my thoughts and concerns over these family events for some time, dragging them around with me like a heavy tail I could feel but not see.

But then I happened upon a coffee concert at the Minnesota Orchestra long ago.  In its pre-Vanska days I was unable to enter the hall with anticipation of anything more than hearing mostly war horses played with just about every bad musical habit known to man.  So I sighed and prepared to grit my teeth once again, as the concert began.  I had not completely given up hope, however, that they might this one time play together with a cohesive sound.

And then the Mahler 1st began, with guest conductor Klaus Tennstedt.  The “Titan”, it was called.  A god, kicked out of heaven.  I felt that way myself sometimes.  I was tempted to wonder what pompous and drawn-out angst might await me.  And then I heard the flute — the first morning, calling out.  I was intrigued. Before long, I was drawn in.  Then mesmerized.  The mocking insolence of the oboe in the funeral march was a cue to me that I was experiencing a different sort of interpretation.  In my own life, I had imagined a dark angel, a magician of the night, as it were, pulling the strings of everyone in my family, pulling us apart.   I knew how that felt; Mahler had put it to music.

The opening crash of chords of the last movement made me jump in my seat.  How could anyone get inside my head?  How could they possibly describe what my experience felt like in sound?  How could one contrast the sweet gentleness of life with the relentless viciousness that mocked it? How could both exist together?  Yet they did, in Mahler’s world.  And in mine.  And this orchestra, more often than not a ragtag bunch that seemed to find more significance in the poker games they were playing in the lounge than the music they were called to perform on stage, became, for that hour, a cohesive group playing beautifully, even brilliantly.

I was not alone.  My experience had a voice, and this was it.  Mahler had gotten inside my head and put my experience into focus.  This is life — this is our world — it is sublime one moment and horrible the next, and those who can retain gentleness will somehow survive.

And so began my quest to find out everything I could about this enigmatic composer.  I soaked up books at the Minneapolis Public Library.  I came to realize that Mahler had lost a family member to suicide; his brother, Otto.  I felt then that Mahler was simply the most unusual composer I had heard.  I still do.  It is for this reason that I was compelled to title the second episode of PIPER TO THE ALTERNATIVE “Titan”.  It was simple.  Nothing else would do.

Now I need to get back to reading and poring over and mussing up my very own copy of “Why Mahler?” 🙂

AH had nothing negative to say about Gustav Mahler’s conducting…

Interesting that you seem to be making a case for AH’s anti-Semitism to have developed later in his life rather than something he believed in as a teenager.

Of course, there was another Jewish person involved in AH’s family life, the physician Dr. Bloch:
http://open.salon.com/blog/lost_in_berlin/2009/08/27/hitlers_favorite_jew_the_strange_case_of_dr_eduard_bloch

http://www.artsjournal.com/slippeddisc/2013/05/i-defaced-richard-wagners-statue.html#comment-130668 

Are you implying that RW’s anti-Semitism did not

Are you implying that RW’s anti-Semitism did not apply to the arts? That is surely not impossible, but what exactly are you referencing as a source?

Ironically, AH’s anti-Semitism seemed to have taken a back seat to his love of Wagner’s music, in that he had nothing negative to say about Mahler’s conducting of Wagner’s works.

Plus, AH and GM happened to be in the same place at the same time on May 8, 1906, when AH attended a performance of T+O at the Vienna Opera with Mahler conducting. It is doubly ironic for me, in that May 8 is my birthday….

http://www.artsjournal.com/slippeddisc/2013/05/i-defaced-richard-wagners-statue.html#comment-127623