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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | April 5, 1998
Less than 40 years ago, performances and recordings of Gustav Mahler's symphonies were rarities. Now it seems he is a composer whom we cannot live without. Each month seems to bring at least one or two new additions to the Mahler discography. His music has become so central to the classical-music repertory that it is scarcely an exaggeration to say that a conductor's reputation rises or falls on his ability as a Mahler interpreter.This was once the province of such German-Jewish emigres as Bruno Walter and Otto Klemperer, who had worked with Mahler themselves, and, slightly later, of such maverick conductors as Dmitri Mitropoulos, Leonard Bernstein and Sir John Barbirolli.
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By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | April 25, 2014
Marin Alsop began her tenure as Baltimore Symphony Orchestra music director in 2007 with one of Gustav Mahler's symphonies and has kept his richly challenging, richly rewarding works in the prominently in the picture since. Over the years, the conductor's approach to Mahler has been, above all, precise and propulsive. So it was again Thursday night when Alsop and the BSO revisited Mahler's Symphony No. 1, which they first performed together (and recorded) in 2008. Some of us Mahler nuts crave interpretations that are exceedingly liberal with tempos and emotions, that bend a phrase here or add a pregnant pause there -- the sort of super-individualistic versions Alsop's mentor Leonard Bernstein routinely offered.
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By TIM SMITH and TIM SMITH,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | November 20, 2005
The Baltimore Opera Company will spice up its 2006-2007 season with two works new to its repertoire, Rossini's The Siege of Corinth and Smetana's The Bartered Bride, and another, Verdi's Nabucco, that it has staged only once before. Puccini's evergreen Tosca rounds out the lineup. The only casting details that have been announced are for the season-opening Rossini opera next October, and they are promising. Soprano Elizabeth Futral, who made a memorable debut last season in Bellini's I Puritani, will return, along with mezzo Vivica Genaux, who starred in Rossini's La Cenerentola in 1999.
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By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | March 21, 2014
Around the turn of the 20th century, ancient Chinese poetry grabbed fresh attention in the West and provided inspiration for some notable works. Austrian composer Gustav Mahler, for example, found in a set of German translations of Li Po the impetus to create "Das Lied von der Erde" ("The Song of the Earth"). And four years after the 1911 posthumous premiere of that profound music, American poet Ezra Pound published "Cathay," his influential interpretations of Li Po and other Chinese poets.
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By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,Contributing Writer | February 16, 1993
Conductor Gisele Ben-Dor set quite an agenda for her players last weekend by programming both the Beethoven "C-minor Piano Concerto" and the "Fourth Symphony" of Gustav Mahler )) for the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra's third concert of the season.She and the orchestra accomplished their mission in fine style, despite the enormous challenges posed by such a pair of masterworks.For the Beethoven concerto, the orchestra welcomed Anton Nel, an excellent 31-year-old pianist who has already made successful stops with the highly pedigreed orchestras of Chicago, Houston, Seattle and Cincinnati.
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By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | November 4, 2010
Given how Gustav Mahler's music generated so much antipathy in his lifetime, with critics pulling out words like "grotesque" and many listeners suspecting the composer harbored horrid neuroses, it's not surprising that he decided to consult Sigmund Freud. But Mahler's famous four-hour meeting with the father of psychiatry in 1910 came about for somewhat less artistic reasons. "He was suffering from all these worries about his wife, Alma, running off with a younger man — which she did after Mahler died," said Marin Alsop, music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | April 25, 2014
Marin Alsop began her tenure as Baltimore Symphony Orchestra music director in 2007 with one of Gustav Mahler's symphonies and has kept his richly challenging, richly rewarding works in the prominently in the picture since. Over the years, the conductor's approach to Mahler has been, above all, precise and propulsive. So it was again Thursday night when Alsop and the BSO revisited Mahler's Symphony No. 1, which they first performed together (and recorded) in 2008. Some of us Mahler nuts crave interpretations that are exceedingly liberal with tempos and emotions, that bend a phrase here or add a pregnant pause there -- the sort of super-individualistic versions Alsop's mentor Leonard Bernstein routinely offered.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | March 21, 2014
Around the turn of the 20th century, ancient Chinese poetry grabbed fresh attention in the West and provided inspiration for some notable works. Austrian composer Gustav Mahler, for example, found in a set of German translations of Li Po the impetus to create "Das Lied von der Erde" ("The Song of the Earth"). And four years after the 1911 posthumous premiere of that profound music, American poet Ezra Pound published "Cathay," his influential interpretations of Li Po and other Chinese poets.
NEWS
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | March 10, 1996
Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji, Works for Piano, performed by Michael Habermann (Elan CD 82264).The English composer Sorabji (1892-1988), the son of a Spanish-Sicilian mother and a Parsee father, is a singular figure in 20th-century music. He was an important music critic -- he was an early adherent of the music of Gustav Mahler -- and he was the composer of what are among the longest pieces ever written: One of his piano works, the "Opus clavicembalisticum," takes approximately about three hours to perform, and his "Jami" Symphony is 1,000 pages in length.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | September 9, 2000
It didn't take long after Beethoven's death for the composer to become sacred in the eyes -- and ears -- of music lovers. It also didn't take long for a few brave souls to suggest that maybe this titan, this god could have made a few little mistakes of judgment. Launching its fourth annual Beethoven Festival Thursday evening at the Kennedy Center, music director Leonard Slatkin and the National Symphony Orchestra jolted the audience with a demonstration of what happened when one brave soul -- Gustav Mahler -- dared to tamper with the holy text of the Bard of Bonn.
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By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | January 20, 2012
It was the cellphone heard 'round the world. A bouncy marimba ring tone on an iPhone erupted during the final soft, almost unbearably poignant minutes of Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 9 at a recent New York Philharmonic concert in Lincoln Center. Music director Alan Gilbert finally reached his tipping point. He stopped the orchestra and turned to face a seemingly oblivious patron. The man, speaking anonymously to The New York Times as "Patron X," later said he had put his newly acquired iPhone on silent but had no idea an alarm had been set on it. When the offending device finally stopped, the conductor tried again to bring Mahler's wrenching 80-minute symphony to a proper end. While cellphone nuisances are commonplace wherever people gather for plays, operas and concerts, they rarely lead to a drastic mid-performance suspension.
NEWS
November 5, 2010
Maestro Mahler, Meet Dr. Freud Here's one of those meetings where you just wish you could have been a fly on the wall: In 1910, the great conductor and composer Gustav Mahler met with the father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud. What was said wasn't recorded; the media was nowhere around. But Mahler, who was suffering from severe depression at the time, later praised their "interesting discussion. " Saturday at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, led by Marin Alsop, presents a words-and-music re-creation of their meeting, through selections from Mahler's symphonies and songs.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | November 4, 2010
Given how Gustav Mahler's music generated so much antipathy in his lifetime, with critics pulling out words like "grotesque" and many listeners suspecting the composer harbored horrid neuroses, it's not surprising that he decided to consult Sigmund Freud. But Mahler's famous four-hour meeting with the father of psychiatry in 1910 came about for somewhat less artistic reasons. "He was suffering from all these worries about his wife, Alma, running off with a younger man — which she did after Mahler died," said Marin Alsop, music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.
NEWS
By TIM SMITH and TIM SMITH,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | June 4, 2006
Yuri Temirkanov begins his final week as Baltimore Symphony Orchestra music director the way he began his first week six years ago: Preparing for performances of the same work by Gustav Mahler - the massive, uplifting Resurrection Symphony. The musicians seem just as pleased to be working with him now as they were in 2000 and, judging by the response to his concerts in the past two weeks, the public sounds just as loudly enthusiastic as it was back then. That's one way to tell that Temirkanov's tenure has been, on balance, a success.
NEWS
By TIM SMITH and TIM SMITH,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | November 20, 2005
The Baltimore Opera Company will spice up its 2006-2007 season with two works new to its repertoire, Rossini's The Siege of Corinth and Smetana's The Bartered Bride, and another, Verdi's Nabucco, that it has staged only once before. Puccini's evergreen Tosca rounds out the lineup. The only casting details that have been announced are for the season-opening Rossini opera next October, and they are promising. Soprano Elizabeth Futral, who made a memorable debut last season in Bellini's I Puritani, will return, along with mezzo Vivica Genaux, who starred in Rossini's La Cenerentola in 1999.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | March 20, 2003
I am without peace, I thirst for things far away." So begins Anton Zemlinsky's Lyric Symphony, a lushly scored, post-romantic journey into the heart of love that will be performed for the first time by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra this week. Soprano Jessica Jones, baritone Brett Polegato and conductor Emmanuel Krivine are involved in this rare and welcome opportunity to experience the music of the unusually gifted, under-appreciated Zemlinsky, whose time, at last, may be coming. "For years, the popularity for Mahler and Strauss completely overshadowed this guy," says the French conductor.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | March 20, 2003
I am without peace, I thirst for things far away." So begins Anton Zemlinsky's Lyric Symphony, a lushly scored, post-romantic journey into the heart of love that will be performed for the first time by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra this week. Soprano Jessica Jones, baritone Brett Polegato and conductor Emmanuel Krivine are involved in this rare and welcome opportunity to experience the music of the unusually gifted, under-appreciated Zemlinsky, whose time, at last, may be coming. "For years, the popularity for Mahler and Strauss completely overshadowed this guy," says the French conductor.
NEWS
November 5, 2010
Maestro Mahler, Meet Dr. Freud Here's one of those meetings where you just wish you could have been a fly on the wall: In 1910, the great conductor and composer Gustav Mahler met with the father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud. What was said wasn't recorded; the media was nowhere around. But Mahler, who was suffering from severe depression at the time, later praised their "interesting discussion. " Saturday at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, led by Marin Alsop, presents a words-and-music re-creation of their meeting, through selections from Mahler's symphonies and songs.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | September 9, 2000
It didn't take long after Beethoven's death for the composer to become sacred in the eyes -- and ears -- of music lovers. It also didn't take long for a few brave souls to suggest that maybe this titan, this god could have made a few little mistakes of judgment. Launching its fourth annual Beethoven Festival Thursday evening at the Kennedy Center, music director Leonard Slatkin and the National Symphony Orchestra jolted the audience with a demonstration of what happened when one brave soul -- Gustav Mahler -- dared to tamper with the holy text of the Bard of Bonn.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | April 5, 1998
Less than 40 years ago, performances and recordings of Gustav Mahler's symphonies were rarities. Now it seems he is a composer whom we cannot live without. Each month seems to bring at least one or two new additions to the Mahler discography. His music has become so central to the classical-music repertory that it is scarcely an exaggeration to say that a conductor's reputation rises or falls on his ability as a Mahler interpreter.This was once the province of such German-Jewish emigres as Bruno Walter and Otto Klemperer, who had worked with Mahler themselves, and, slightly later, of such maverick conductors as Dmitri Mitropoulos, Leonard Bernstein and Sir John Barbirolli.
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