Gustav Mahler Biography

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Gustav Mahler is very well-known for his great symphonies today. His compositions primarily comprised of symphonies and song cycles that required a large orchestra. Gustav Mahler once said, "Composing a symphony means, to me, building a new world with every available technical means. The ever-new and changing content determines its own form.” (La Grange 1995). As a composer, he introduced many distinctive styles (large-scale forms, orchestral, thematic styles) that influenced many other Viennese composers of the following generations.

Biography Mahler was born in July 7th 1860, in Kaliste, Bohemia, now Czech Republic, to Jewish parents. He was the second of fourteen children. He showed his musical talents at very early age and by the
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Mahler was into German philosophy. One of his friends Siegfried Lipiner introduced him to the works of Arthur Schopenhauer, Friedrich Nietzsche, Gustav Fechner and Hermann Lotze (ibid.). Mahler’s music has a large influence of these philosophers. At Landestheater in Laibach (Ljubljana, in Slovenia of today) in 1881, Mahler got the first opportunity to conduct his first full-scale opera, Verdi 's Il trovatore. After six months, Mahler returned to Vienna and worked at the Vienna Carltheater (Franklin 1997). Later in January 1883, Mahler was hired as the conductor at a run-down theatre in Olmütz (today Olomouc). Mahler was successful in bringing up five new operas to the theatre, including Bizet 's Carmen (Carr 1999). In 1883, Mahler became the musical and choral director at in Kassel, Germany. Here he had a successful career life. During his time in Kassel, he fell in love with soprano Johanna Richter who led Mahler to write a series of love poems which became the text of his song cycle Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (Carr 1999). He found a new employment with the Leipzig Opera and started the job in 1885, and he also got offered a standby appointment as an assistant conductor at the Neues Deutsches Theater (New German Theatre) in Prague (Franklin 1997). During that time he composed his …show more content…
Mahler 's music reflects both styles; such as adapting the similar form of solo voice and chorus in Beethoven 's Ninth Symphony, and the act and large scale works by Wagner, and romantic grandeur musical style by Brahms (Gorrel 2005). Before Mahler, Das Lied was mainly composed for solo voice and piano accompaniment. Mahler progressed this ideal style into a much more larger form and precisely notated all the details in his art songs. Rather than being large-scale or loud in sound, he created more of a colorful and delicate orchestral accompaniment for the voice, which is very different from piano accompaniment. Mahler 's song-cycles and symphonies have a lot in common. He actually re-used the musical materials from his song-cycle in his symphonies (Beekman 1960). Even though Mahler liked big scale works, he was not a fan of program music. He wanted the audience to interpret the music themselves rather than explaining what is happening in music

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