Wednesday, September 16, 2015


Today's tune comes from one of the great masters of all music: Gustav Mahler! If you find classical music difficult I hope you try listening to the piece I'm sharing with you today, the Adagietto from his fifth symphony. It is absolutely beautiful and, in my mind, very approachable for civilians.

This Adagietto is the fourth movement (of five) and may be Mahler's most famous composition. Dominated by strings alone (with harp) it is the epitome of romance. Apparently it is a love song to his future wife Alma Schindler and a letter was found, from Alma to Willem Mengelberg, with a small poem from Gustav Mahler:

Wie ich dich liebe, Du meine Sonne,
ich kann mit Worten Dir's nicht sagen.
Nur meine Sehnsucht kann ich Dir klagen und meine Liebe.

How much I love you, you my sun,
I cannot tell you that with words.
I can only lament to you my longing and love. 

This piece has inspired many choreographers to create ballets and has also been used as the principal theme for a few movies, including Death in Venice by Luchino Visconti.

If someone had written that for me I'd definitely say yes to the marriage proposal. Lucky Alma. Although lucky me: I'm playing this symphony for the first time in a couple of weeks. :)

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