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February 09 , 2010

The Mahler Symphonies

Unlocking the Masters Series, No. 2


(Unlocking the Masters). Since Gustav Mahler was rediscovered in the early 1960s, his symphonies have become arguably the most popular works in the modern orchestral repertoire. Mahler's Symphonies: An Owner's Manual is the first discussion of the ten completed symphonies (No. 1-9 plus "The Song of the Earth") to offer music lovers and record collectors a comprehensive overview of the music itself, what it sounds like, how it is organized, its form, content, and meaning, as it strikes today's listeners. The book caters to the novice as David Hurwitz describes what the listener will hear, section by section, using simple cues such as important instrumental solos, recognizable tunes, climaxes, and other easily audible musical facts. He explains how each work is arranged, how the various parts relate to each other, and how one work leads to the next. It describes the emotional extravagance that lies at the root of Mahler's popularity, the consistency of his symphonic thinking, the relationship of each work to its companions, and his dazzling and revolutionary use of orchestral instruments to create an expressive musical language that is varied in content and immediate in impact. The accompanying audio contains recordings from Symphony No. 1, Third Movement; Symphony No. 2, First Movement; Symphony No. 5, Third Movement ; and Symphony No. 7, Second Movement : "Nachtmusik I."
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