How do non-musicians hear music? Fourth movement

rattle

EMI have issued a new recording of Mahler’s Ninth Symphony with the Berlin Philharmonic orchestra conducted by their music director, Sir Simon Rattle, in October 2007. A video introduction to this recording is posted on the internet on which Sir Simon makes what I think are incomplete assertions:

“…Finally in all his pieces, he [Mahler] found really the shape for the middle movements — what these two scherzos are… And in a way it’s very simple. I mean, they’re both very bitter, very sarcastic, very angry pieces.”

Ignoring the implied claim that (more…)

How do non-musicians hear music? Third movement

Daniel Barenboim talks about Gustav Mahler

Daniel Barenboim talks about Gustav Mahler

The conductor Daniel Barenboim has given an interview about his relationship to the music of Gustav Mahler. You can read it in full here.

Among other things, Barenboim discusses the question of emotion in music: (more…)

How do non-musicians hear music? Second movement

Arnold Schoenberg by Florence Homolka

Arnold Schoenberg by Florence Homolka

In his 1939 essay Eartraining through Composition, the composer Arnold Schönberg raps me firmly on the knuckles for the unconventional description of the first movement of Mahler’s Ninth Symphony that I gave earlier (more…)

How do non-musicians hear music? First movement

The hut in Toblach in which Gustav Mahler composed his Ninth Symphony

The hut in Toblach in which Gustav Mahler composed his Ninth Symphony

A long time ago, before I really learned how to read it, I remember listening to music and not hearing individual notes. I cannot recall what I did hear, except that I can remember that the first movement of Mahler’s Ninth Symphony conjured up dream-like images of a journey through a strange flat landscape (more…)