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The Life of Mahler (Musical Lives) - Softcover

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9780521467612: The Life of Mahler (Musical Lives)
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As a leading European conductor and the composer of enormous and controversial symphonies, Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) inspired mythologizers in his own lifetime. Some of them were personal friends, concerned with countering biased criticism of him in which German-nationalist, hide-bound traditionalist or anti-Semitic elements were often mixed. In this new biography, Peter Franklin reconfronts the myth of Mahler-the-misunderstood-hero and attempts to find the person, or persons, behind the legends. His illuminating biography shows Mahler to be a profoundly sensitive thinker and composer, a dictatorial conductor and husband, an iconoclast and paradoxically, a traditionalist.

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This is a well-written biography that eschews mythology in favor of a closer examination of both biographical and musical materials. A generation after the first wave of Mahler appreciation, Peter Franklin takes a new look from a different angle and succeeds in separating myth from fact, making this book a most welcome one. It does, however, presume a certain amount of prior knowledge of Mahler, his circle, and his music, so don't go into it completely cold.
Review:
'Peter Franklin has achieved the difficult feat in 203 pages of text of covering the familiar ground of Mahler's life from a new perspective and making telling and perceptive comments on the music. There are no music examples, and Franklin's style is refreshingly free from academic jargon ...'. Michael Kennedy, BBC Music Magazine

'The Life of Mahler has some extremely pertinent comments to make on a complex and not entirely sympathetic personality ... Franklin makes one think afresh about the works he describes'. The Daily Telegraph

'... a convincing account of Mahler as an insistent, ambitious individual, informing convention, convinced of his own superiority'. The Times Literary Supplement

'Clearly this book is anything but a traditional biography in the way that the factual information is subjugated to the philosophical subjects that interest the author. He is most stimulating when posing probing questions and tackling head on many of the critical dilemmas which have always been so crucial in discussing this Janus-faced composer.' The Musical Times

'Franklin is deft in his characterisation of Mahler's key works and in relating them to their context.' The Times Higher Education Supplement

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  • PublisherCambridge University Press
  • Publication date1997
  • ISBN 10 0521467616
  • ISBN 13 9780521467612
  • BindingPaperback
  • Number of pages240
  • Rating
    3 avg rating
    ( 12 ratings by Goodreads )

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