Local Gentry
Music Discussion
Songs of the Earth: A Gustav Mahler Thread
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
 
 Topic Tags 
There are no Forum Tags

Post new topic   Reply to topic    Local Gentry Forum Index -> -> The Record Room
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Leo K



Joined: 27 Jun 2007

Posts: 274
Location: Tucson...with all the smiling ladies!

PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 3:50 pm    Post subject: If a post contains some illegal issues you may abuse on it - just click Abuse and fill the form Reply with quote

Okay, this Sunday afternoon I hope to finish the story of how the 6th Symphony got published incorrectly...

When we left off this story a few pages ago, we had just gone over the 6th's Vienna premiere (and the hostle reaction of the critics), and despite Mahler's new corrected 2nd edition of the score, confusion over the order of the two inner movements would remain for years to come. It didn't help the incorrect 1st edition of the score was still floating around, and both editions had the same appearance and both were dated 1906.


Willem Mengelberg

Mahler made some further corrections to the score, and these changes are preserved in Mengelberg's conducting score for a planned 1907 performance in Amsterdam later postponed. Since Mahler's own conducting score is lost, Mengelberg's score preserves Mahler's last corrections regarding the 6th Symphony. It should be noted that Mahler never had second thoughts regarding his decision to make the Andante the 2nd movement and the Scherzo the 3rd movement.

In 1910 Mahler signed with a new publisher, Universal Edition, to publish his new and older scores. Universal Edition released the 6th with a new cover and catalogue number, but they also took the obsolete editions of the 6th (including the incorrect 1st edition), previously published by Kahnt, and imprinted "Universal Edition" on them and sold them. Universal Edition didn't realize the incorrect 1st editions were now being sold, with the Universal Edition name, giving the impression that Mahler had changed his mind yet again over the order of movements!

Mahler died in May 18th, 1911 in Vienna...and the 6th Symphony was now on it's own, it's fate to be decided by Mahler's good friend Mengelberg, Mahler's public and Mahler's wife.

Next...perfromances after 1911 and Alma Mahler's famous telegram...
_________________
http://musicisrotted.blogspot.com/

http://georgannename.blogspot.com/
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Leo K



Joined: 27 Jun 2007

Posts: 274
Location: Tucson...with all the smiling ladies!

PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 3:54 pm    Post subject: If a post contains some illegal issues you may abuse on it - just click Abuse and fill the form Reply with quote

Jérôme wrote:
Yes, indeed Duggan's reviews are enlightening. I've been listening to Bernstein a lot, it may well be my favorite... The last movement is incredible, a real epic rather than a melodrama in my opinion.
I need to listen to Barbirolli a little more but my feeling is that it's the most demanding version I've heard until now. From the very start, it's so dark and weighing with those intimidating basses given that the tempo is particularly slow (heavy-footed? I can't say for the moment). The last movement is so... disturbing, I don't know, have to listen to it again. The most uncomfortable (to quote Zander's terms) of the three to sum it up.
I'm not so sure I'm particularly fond of the objective approach... I think I've been strucked by the beauty of the sound and that toned-down manner. Having listened a lot to Bernstein (and Barbirolli a couple of times), Sanderling afterwards sounds kind of peaceful, reassuring, it made me think: oh yes! it's also... "just" a beautiful piece of music.. Made me forget what it's supposed to deal with. I had a similar feeling while listening to Beethoven's 5th (Karajan) a few weeks ago while driving. When you've been listening exclusively to Mahler's 6th (and 5th) during the last weeks, Beethoven sounds so familiar, it's like home in a way.
Having said that, I realize that I haven't listenened to the 4th movement by Sanderling. To be continued...


It really is amazing to inquire into the many different approaches to the 6th...and with the 6th there is the decision to either place the Andante in 2nd or 3rd place which can complicate or completely change the story of the music in this work.


Look forward to more of your comments!
_________________
http://musicisrotted.blogspot.com/

http://georgannename.blogspot.com/
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Leo K



Joined: 27 Jun 2007

Posts: 274
Location: Tucson...with all the smiling ladies!

PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 3:57 pm    Post subject: If a post contains some illegal issues you may abuse on it - just click Abuse and fill the form Reply with quote

And now I turn back to Jerry Bruck's excellant essay for the final account over the confusion regarding the correct sequence of the 6th's inner movements.

Performances after 1911:

After Mahler’s death, biographers such as Guido Adler, Paul Bekker,
Richard Specht and Paul Stefan accepted unquestioningly the A-S [Andante-Scherzo]
sequence of the Sixth’s inner movements. In 1916 Willem Mengelberg
at last introduced the Mahler Sixth to Holland. The concert program
shows the middle movements to have been Andante second, Scherzo
third, in agreement with the score Mahler had corrected
and returned to him twice before. This fact alone refutes any
speculation that Mahler might have confided to Mengelberg any intention
to revert to the earlier order. On October 11, 1919, Oskar Fried
(who had introduced the Sixth to Berlin more than a dozen years earlier
with Mahler in the audience) conducted the Sixth Symphony in
Vienna. The following year, as other festivals began to program
Mahler’s music, Fried undertook a cycle of all of the Mahler symphonies
(except the Eighth) in Vienna. On both occasions, the inner
movements were listed as Andante-Scherzo.

There seemed little reason to expect that performances of the Sixth
would ever deviate from this order or that today’s concert audiences
would ever have any reason to question whether Andante-Scherzo
reflected Mahler’s final intention. But the seeds of doubt that had been
sown long before broke ground in October 1919, a few months prior to
an elaborate Mahlerfeest in Amsterdam. This festival, planned by
Rudolf Mengelberg, Willem’s cousin and manager of the Concertgebouw
Orchestra,was to include all of Mahler’s published music as well
as a program of lectures and symposia by leading authorities.

Just who or what raised the question is unknown but—despite his
earlier performances of the Sixth with its A-S order of movements left
untouched in the score that Mahler had twice corrected and returned
to him in 1907 and again in 1909—Willem Mengelberg now became
uncertain about the order of these movements. Possibly prompted by
his musicologist cousin Rudolf, who may have shown him the earlier
Kahnt score with the Scherzo as its second movement, Mengelberg
apparently decided to resolve the issue by consulting Mahler’s widow.

In a telegram dated October 1, 1919, Alma responded succinctly
“Erst Scherzo, dann Andante—herzlichst Alma” (“First Scherzo, then
Andante—most cordially Alma”).


To be continued...
_________________
http://musicisrotted.blogspot.com/

http://georgannename.blogspot.com/
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Leo K



Joined: 27 Jun 2007

Posts: 274
Location: Tucson...with all the smiling ladies!

PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 3:58 pm    Post subject: If a post contains some illegal issues you may abuse on it - just click Abuse and fill the form Reply with quote

Continued from above...



At the best of times not the most reliable of reporters, Alma perhaps
cannot be faulted for being a little confused herself. After all, she
had first experienced the symphony 15 years earlier when Mahler
played its first draft to her on the piano. The strength of that first
impression may have obscured later, less potent memories, especially
considering the years that had elapsed and the social and political
upheavals that had taken place by the time she received Mengelberg’s
inquiry. Paradoxically, in Alma’s account of her life with Mahler (which
she began writing a year or so after sending the telegram) she identified
the Scherzo as the third movement of the Sixth. Despite the opportunity
presented by her attendance at performances of the Sixth for
half a century thereafter, Alma seems never to have chided a conductor
for performing the Sixth with its movements “in the wrong order.”

Which leaves us to wonder: Whom are we to believe, Alma—or Alma?

_________________
http://musicisrotted.blogspot.com/

http://georgannename.blogspot.com/
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Leo K



Joined: 27 Jun 2007

Posts: 274
Location: Tucson...with all the smiling ladies!

PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 3:59 pm    Post subject: If a post contains some illegal issues you may abuse on it - just click Abuse and fill the form Reply with quote

Continued from above...



Mengelberg, however, apparently saw no reason to doubt his
source. Upon receipt of Alma’s telegram, with rehearsals for a performanceof the Sixth on October 5 already in progress,
he obediently scrawled across the title page of his conducting score
According to Mahler’s instruction first Scherzo then
Andante” (italics added).

This inscription from the hand of Willem
Mengelberg, Mahler’s close friend and colleague, has since been
quoted as evidence that Mahler’s final intention was to revert to his
original ordering of movements. But Mengelberg had first performed
the Sixth five years after Mahler’s death, in the A-S order, clearly
unaware of any “instruction” to the contrary. That Mengelberg subsequentlytrusted the accuracy of Alma’s memory, rather than consulting Mahler’s close friends, musical associates or his publisher, seems surprisingly naïve. Regardless, it has since been responsible for fostering a “tragic” legacy.

Mengelberg, satisfied that he had resolved the matter, performed the Sixth again a few months later at the Amsterdam Mahler Festival. Either he or his cousin Rudolf may have shared Alma’s telegram with Paul Stefan, an invited lecturer at the festival, for
Stefan also changed the order of the inner movements to S-A in a later
edition of his Mahler biography. However, Richard Specht, also a lecturer
at the festival, made no such change in his biography of the composer
when he revised it in 1925.

Mengelberg never again conducted the Sixth, but the much-quoted
(and clearly misattributed) notation in his score has had far-reaching
consequences. Cited more often than any other “evidence” in support
of the S-A sequence of movements, it is regarded by program annotators
and others unfamiliar with the circumstances of its origin as incontrovertible proof that Mahler meant to revert to his earlier ordering of
the Sixth’s inner movements.

Nevertheless, most performances of the Sixth continued to observe
the A-S order of inner movements. Alexander Zemlinsky, whose fourhand
piano score of the Sixth remained in print and who conducted
the Sixth several times in Prague during the 1920s, “invariably played
the Andante before the Scherzo”. As recordings of
the Sixth began to appear, first that of F. Charles Adler with a Vienna
orchestra in 1952, then Eduard Flipse with the Rotterdam Philharmonic
(recorded live on June 25, 1955, at the Holland Festival), the
A-S order was maintained. This was also the case with other live
performances of that era that were broadcast and have now become
available. These include the July 12, 1955, Concertgebouw perfor-
mance with Eduard van Beinum, that of Dimitri Mitropoulos with
the New York Philharmonic on April 10, 1955, and Hermann
Scherchen’s abridged October 4, 1960, Leipzig performance.


To be continued...
_________________
http://musicisrotted.blogspot.com/

http://georgannename.blogspot.com/
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Leo K



Joined: 27 Jun 2007

Posts: 274
Location: Tucson...with all the smiling ladies!

PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 4:01 pm    Post subject: If a post contains some illegal issues you may abuse on it - just click Abuse and fill the form Reply with quote

Continued from above...


The “critical” editions:

Among those who contributed to the latter-day re-inversion of movements
to the S-A order was the respected writer and critic Hans
Ferdinand Redlich. At first, in both his original and revised editions
of Bruckner & Mahler, Redlich lauded as “insightful” Mahler’s decision
to reverse the Sixth’s inner movements to A-S. A few years later
he inexplicably changed his mind when writing the introduction to
the Eulenburg miniature score of the Sixth. He went so far as to conjecture
that:


His intention to revert to the original sequence of movements as to
re-instate the third hammer-stroke (possibly decided upon as late
as 1910) was never incorporated in print because no further edition
of the symphony was issued in his lifetime.


Perhaps the best example of Redlich’s confusion of fact and supposition
can be found in his 1966 article, “Gustav Mahler—Problems of a
Critical Edition”:


Various reasons have been proposed for Mahler’s re-ordering of
the movements in the Sixth Symphony: excessive thematic similarity
between the first movement and the Scherzo; insufficient
contrast among key regions; the influence of other people, etc. . . .
[Mahler] rescinded the altered ordering of movements and reinstituted
the original sequence in the third edition of the Symphony
(i.e., with the Andante in the third position), in the course
of a thorough revision of the entire work’s instrumentation. These
instrumental touch-ups of the third edition, which were carried
out around 1907 (i.e., at the same time as the instrumentation of the
Eighth Symphony), also include eliminating the third hammerblow
in the Finale. . . . It is hard to understand why the original
publisher of the Sixth Symphony could fail to make completely
clear Mahler’s decision to return to the movement sequence of the
original version, while incorporating significant changes in instrumentation
both in the score and the parts.


The “third edition” Redlich refers to seems to be a confused attempt
to describe Kahnt’s republication in late 1906 of the full score as
revised by Mahler in late 1906. This “third” score, which embodies
Mahler’s revisions including his excision of the third hammer-blow
and with its inner movements reordered A-S, followed the re-release of
the study score (Was this, with its transposed movement order, but
without any other corrections, what Redlich considered to be a “second
edition”?).

Redlich offered no real grounds for his often inaccurate statements.
Nor was he alone in attempting to solicit a wider audience for his privately
held views. In 1963 the IGMG issued the second volume of its
Critical Edition, this time devoted to the Sixth Symphony. In it, Erwin
Ratz unequivocally stated that Mahler had meant to revert to his origi-
.nal S-A order of movements, but Ratz offered no evidence whatsoever
to back up his dictum. In its revised Critical Edition of the Sixth,
issued some 35 years later, the IGMG continued to defend Ratz’s
S-A ordering of inner movements. Its editors based their decision
primarily on the inscription in the Mengelberg score, apparently
unaware of the circumstances of its origin.

Prominent among those who persist in propagating the notion that
Mahler not only was undecided about the order of the Sixth’s inner
movements but eventually intended to revoke his A-S decision is the
eminent Mahler biographer Henry-Louis de La Grange. In his liner
notes for the Pierre Boulez recording of the Sixth, La Grange states:
“[At Essen] Mahler probably allowed himself to be influenced by a
number of his friends . . .A few months later, in January 1907, he decided
to revert to the original order”
(italics added). Peter Franklin, author
of an excellent short biography of the composer, also wrote the article
on Mahler for the second edition of The New Grove Dictionary of
Music and Musicians.
He echoes Redlich’s baseless supposition that
Mahler had decided shortly before his death to again reverse the inner
movements of his Sixth.


To be continued...
_________________
http://musicisrotted.blogspot.com/

http://georgannename.blogspot.com/
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Leo K



Joined: 27 Jun 2007

Posts: 274
Location: Tucson...with all the smiling ladies!

PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 4:02 pm    Post subject: If a post contains some illegal issues you may abuse on it - just click Abuse and fill the form Reply with quote

Continued from above...



Evidently the passage of nearly a century has obscured, rather than
clarified, Mahler’s final decision about the order of inner movements in
his A-minor “Tragic” symphony. The issue of why Mahler decided to
alter his initial sequence for these movements lies beyond the scope of
this paper. That he did so, recognizing the inconvenience and cost to
his publisher and the embarrassment he would bring upon himself,
suggests that this was no momentary whim but the inevitable outcome
of a deeply felt conviction. A “last-ditch” attempt to justify the S-A
order, put forward by one of the editors of the current Critical
Edition, purports to draw its “evidence” from the score itself. He
contrasts and comments on the key relationships of the inner movements
to their neighbors and concludes that “if the slow movement
were to follow the first, then the thematic as well as the harmonic unity
of the pairing of the movements would be destroyed. In addition, the
Scherzo placed immediately before the Finale would, despite the same
tonality, not form a pairing in the same sense.”

This argument might conceivably be of interest, at least on technical
grounds, were it not for the fact that the composer himself transposed
the movements. This simply turns the argument on its head, for if Mahler
felt compelled to make the change, deliberately disregarding whatever
importance he may have originally placed on these relationships, it further
demonstrates the strength of his conviction that the A-S order is
vital to the musical and emotional integrity of his composition.

A recently discovered letter, written by composer-conductor Berthold
Goldschmidt to Erwin Ratz in 1962, sheds further light on this matter.
It refers to his performance (with the BBC Symphony Orchestra) of
the Mahler Sixth the preceding December, its inner movements played
Andante-Scherzo. This performance was subsequently broadcast and
disseminated worldwide by the BBC Transcription Service:


In a letter written a few weeks ago and presented to me for consideration,
Bruno Walter says that Mahler never in his presence
referred to any other movement order than the [A-S] one above,
and that he [Walter] could never approve a reordering. What Paul
Bekker brings up several times in his treatise on the Sixth on this
point is also interesting.


Those who reluctantly acknowledge the facts cited here but are still
determined to have their Sixth S-A argue that there are really two
Mahler Sixths, the one that he composed and the one he performed.

If taken seriously, this subterfuge would grant a conductor the license
to choose Mahler’s original S-A version of the score in preference to
his later A-S one. Of course, it ignores the simple fact that no one
(including Mahler) ever performed the symphony using the first
printed edition, which was soon supplanted by Kahnt’s publication of
the newly authorized revised version. Furthermore, it pries open a
musical Pandora’s Box in which we can find at least two First
Symphonies (with and without “Blumine”), two Second Symphonies
(Mahler once performed it with the Andante and Scherzo movements
reversed!), a two- or three-movement Das klagende Lied (with and
without Waldmärchen), and so on. As musicological curiosities, such
performances may occasionally be of interest, but in fairness to
Mahler (as to any other composer) a concert audience should at least
be advised in advance that what they are about to hear is not the form
in which its composer left the work and meant it to be heard. Some
might even consider it a questionable enterprise to rifle the wastebaskets
of the icons of Western music in search of alternatives to works
already ensconced as staples of the concert repertoire. Since Mahler
went to such lengths to reorder the inner movements of his Sixth
Symphony, surely it is incumbent upon the professional societies,
scholars and biographers who support the cause of his music, and in
particular those who address this score as performers, to see to it that
Mahler’s final wishes are respected.

Beyond individual performances loom larger issues. One widely
respected conductor, who always performs the Sixth A-S, admitted to
this author that he has avoided programming the Sixth of late because
of the barrage of criticism it provokes. This is downright alarming: Are
we really at the mercy of errant musicology? Fortunately, despite 40
years of S-A Sixths in concerts and on recordings, there are some signs
of change. Sir John Barbirolli remained adamant about the order of
movements in his performances and recordings, and Sir Simon
Rattle has recorded and continues to perform the Sixth firm in his conviction
that the inner movements must be heard A-S. An earlier
version of this paper influenced the performances and recording of
Glen Cortese with the Manhattan School of Music Symphony
Orchestra, as well as performances of Leonard Slatkin with the
National Symphony Orchestra. Add to these the recent A-S performances
by James Judd, Leon Botstein, Mariss Jansons, Sir
Charles Mackerras, Zubin Mehta, and Michael Tilson Thomas,
and we can dare to hope that Mahler may yet have the last word.

If Mahler ever meant to revoke his decision to have the Sixth’s
Andante precede its Scherzo, it must be regarded as one of the best
kept secrets in the annals of music history. Unless and until new evidence
surfaces, no argument so far has refuted the simple fact that
Mahler himself never performed his Sixth, or asked his colleagues to
perform it, with its middle movements other than A-S, nor did he
request either of his publishers to reorder the Sixth’s inner movements
Scherzo-Andante.

The time is surely ripe to rectify a sadly misdirected, generation-old
performance practice and restore to the musical public the experience
of Gustav Mahler’s Sixth Symphony as he intended it to be heard.


To be continued...
_________________
http://musicisrotted.blogspot.com/

http://georgannename.blogspot.com/
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Leo K



Joined: 27 Jun 2007

Posts: 274
Location: Tucson...with all the smiling ladies!

PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 4:03 pm    Post subject: If a post contains some illegal issues you may abuse on it - just click Abuse and fill the form Reply with quote

As you can see from above and throughout this overview in general, Jerry Bruck has a steel tight case regarding the 'correct' sequence of the inner movements. In 2004, Reinhold Kubik, the Chief Editor of the Complete Critical Edition, announced that when the new critical edition od the 6th is released, the sequence will now be based on what Mahler originally planned...Andante first, than Scherzo...

Next...Reinhold Kubik's essay on the infamous editor...Erwin Ratz...
_________________
http://musicisrotted.blogspot.com/

http://georgannename.blogspot.com/
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Leo K



Joined: 27 Jun 2007

Posts: 274
Location: Tucson...with all the smiling ladies!

PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 4:04 pm    Post subject: If a post contains some illegal issues you may abuse on it - just click Abuse and fill the form Reply with quote

ANALYSIS VERSUS HISTORY
Erwin Ratz and the Sixth Symphony

by Reinhold Kubik


Erwin Ratz (1898-1973)

The earliest document in the archives of the International
Gustav Mahler Society (Internationale Gustav Mahler Gesellschaft)
in Vienna attesting to Erwin Ratz’s preoccupation with the
philological problems of Mahler’s Sixth Symphony is a letter, dated
March 18, 1955, to Rudolf Mengelberg (1892–1959). Ratz was searching
for materials for an essay he was updating about the problem of
musical form in Mahler’s Ninth and Sixth symphonies. He wondered
if Mengelberg had any documents, or if there were some in the estate
of his cousin, the conductor Willem Mengelberg.

Ratz, who became the first editor of the Critical Edition of Mahler
and who wrote the standard textbook on the theory of musical form
that is still in use today, was at the heart of his scholarly being an analyst,
not a historian or a philologist. He was, however, completely convinced
that he could make compelling—and accurate—determinations
about content through formal analysis and vice versa. Should new facts
alter the picture of a work, Ratz was not infrequently inclined to
rearrange the facts slightly to maintain his analyses, as can often be seen
if one compares Ratz’s editorial decisions with the sources.
In his letter Ratz wrote: “You certainly know that Mahler made a
revision of the score [of the Sixth Symphony] after the first performance
in Essen in 1906. The second version appeared only in the full
score. The third hammer-blow is deleted in this second version.When
I got to know the second version, I was initially extremely surprised
about this change and thought for a long time about the reasons that
may have prompted Mahler to excise the third hammer-blow, because
it appeared very meaningful to me from the point of view of the form.
Now I believe I have found an explanation for it that is connected,
among other things, with the problems that preoccupied Mahler at that
time; this was the time when he was writing the Eighth Symphony. If
you are interested, I will gladly send you a copy of my essay. Now I
would like to know—before I publish this explanation—if you know
anything about this. I also wrote to Mrs. Mahler, but on the basis of
information received from other sources I am afraid that Mrs. Mahler
can no longer remember these things exactly. She thought it was a misprint;
but I consider this completely out of the question. I also wrote to
Kahnt [the music publisher] . . . Willem Mengelberg conducted the
Sixth in 1920, and maybe you still have his conductor’s score.” [All letter
excerpts are taken from originals or carbon copies in the Mahler
Society’s archives.]

On January 17, 1956, Ratz approached Maria Hoffmann of Kahnt
and asked her the same question he had posed to Rudolf Mengelberg,
adding the request to confirm “whether you have the score Mahler
revised for reprinting.” Here, too, Ratz’s purpose is the verification of
the formal analysis: “Mrs. Alma Mahler-Werfel maintains that this is an
engraver’s error. I am convinced that this is a memory lapse by Mrs.
Mahler and that Mahler indeed removed this hammer-blow. I will be
presenting the internal reasons in my essay.”

Initially, then, the subject was the third hammer-blow. It has now
been proven without any doubt—on the basis of sources that were not
available to Ratz at the time—that Mahler had excised the hammerblow.
In our context, Ratz’s attitude toward the reliability of Alma
Mahler’s statements is of interest: He thought that he could identify the
“internal reasons” for the change through his analysis, and hence he
readily attributed memory lapses to Alma Mahler. Later, as we shall
see, he welcomed her as his star witness, accepting her recollections
about the order of the inner movements as fact, which he also thought
he could justify analytically.

The Kahnt music publishing house was unable to help Ratz further.
But he received a response from Rudolf Mengelberg dated March 10,
1956, stating: “On the basis of Willem Mengelberg’s large conductor’s
score and my small score, I can inform you that the third hammer-blow
did not exist in the performances at the Concertgebouw. I fully concur
with your opinion that this is not a misprint. This is clearly substantiated
by the dynamic changes (fp instead of ff, etc.) and the new instrumentation.”
Then, on his own initiative, Rudolf Mengelberg introduced
the topic of the movement sequence, thus triggering the
thinking and decision process that Jerry Bruck in his accompanying
essay rightfully calls a “‘Tragic’ mistake”. “Incidentally,” Mengelberg
continued, “a telegram from Mrs. Mahler dated October 1, 1919, is
enclosed in the conductor’s score: ‘First Scherzo, then Andante—
most cordially, Alma Mahler.’ The middle movements were consequently
played in this order, contrary to the conductor’s score.
Personally, I prefer this order for harmonic and architectonic reasons.”

On May 9, 1956, Ratz wrote back to Rudolf Mengelberg: “The news
that Willem Mengelberg played the Andante in third place at the 1919
performance of the Sixth Symphony, prompted by a telegram by Mrs.
Alma Mahler, was of extraordinary interest to me, but I would like to
know Mrs. Mahler’s reasons for sending the telegram. Unfortunately,
one can hardly expect to obtain any factual information from Mrs.
Mahler. Therefore, it is naturally even more important for me if you
have any knowledge about Mahler’s changing the movement order a
second time.”

When Mengelberg failed to respond to this question, Ratz did turn
to Alma Mahler after all, first on March 8, 1957. By now he was already
planning the first volumes of the Complete Critical Edition (Kritische
Gesamtausgabe), which would include the Sixth Symphony. (In 1960
the Seventh Symphony appeared as the first volume; the Fourth
Symphony and Sixth Symphony were published in 1963, and the Fifth
Symphony and Das Lied von der Erde in 1964.) In his letter to Alma,
Ratz informed her about his correspondence with Rudolf Mengelberg
and also mentioned the telegram of 1919: “I conclude from this that
Mahler decided over the course of the years in favor of the original
order. I would very much welcome this; also, the original version—that
is, 1st Movement, Scherzo, Andante, Finale—appears to be the correct
one for content-related reasons as well as musical ones. Accordingly, I
would be very grateful if you would let me know which sequence we
should use in the new printing.”


To be continued...
_________________
http://musicisrotted.blogspot.com/

http://georgannename.blogspot.com/
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Leo K



Joined: 27 Jun 2007

Posts: 274
Location: Tucson...with all the smiling ladies!

PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 4:05 pm    Post subject: If a post contains some illegal issues you may abuse on it - just click Abuse and fill the form Reply with quote

Kubik's essay continued...


Alma Mahler

When Ratz received no response, he wrote again on May 23 and reiterated
his request almost verbatim. On September 23 Ratz repeated his
request for information a third time: “Dear and most highly respected
lady, I am somewhat concerned that I have not heard from you for so
long. As Dr. Mengelberg wrote to me, during his final years Mahler
decided . . . in favor of the original sequence. It is a colossal tragedy that
somehow the publisher failed to take heed of this . . .Now I would be very
grateful to you for granting me the authority, in dealing with the publisher
concerning the reprinting of the score, to demand that the sequence
which Mahler finally decided upon shall be carried out once again.”
Ratz’s statement is not true: Rudolf Mengelberg never wrote that
Mahler “decided during his final years in favor of the original
sequence.” Ratz then continued: “In my research in the Mengelberg
archive in Amsterdam, I saw your telegram in which you explicitly
specified ‘First Scherzo, then Andante’ for the Mahler Festival performance
in 1919. Just yesterday and the day before, we were able to
experience the overwhelming impression made by the original order in
the marvelous performance of the Sixth Symphony under Mitropoulos
with the Vienna Philharmonic in the first Philharmonic concert [of
the season].” This last passage sheds some possible light on where
Mitropoulos got the idea of performing the Scherzo-Andante
sequence as early as 1957 (and again with the Cologne Radio Orchestra
in 1959), six years before the publication of the Complete Critical
Edition. Most likely, Ratz had worked on him to that end.
Alma responded at last on October 9: “I will gladly help you to
obtain an authorization, but for the past four months I am very sick and
cannot go out. . . . The way Mahler played the Sixth in Amsterdam is
definitely the right order!”


To be continued...
_________________
http://musicisrotted.blogspot.com/

http://georgannename.blogspot.com/
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Leo K



Joined: 27 Jun 2007

Posts: 274
Location: Tucson...with all the smiling ladies!

PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 4:06 pm    Post subject: If a post contains some illegal issues you may abuse on it - just click Abuse and fill the form Reply with quote

Kubik's essay continued...



This statement exposes the already well-known unreliability of
Alma’s information, whether caused by ill health or otherwise: Mahler
never performed the Sixth Symphony in Amsterdam. It will never be
clear to which performance Alma referred. However, Ratz interpreted
Alma’s response in a self-serving way, since he by now had become
convinced that he could prove the superiority of the Scherzo-Andante
order on analytical grounds. This is why Ratz took Alma’s inaccurate
information as proof and dropped his earlier request that she kindly
inform him how she could be so sure that the proper order was
Scherzo-Andante. Subsequently, Ratz turned to the publisher, Kahnt,
writing on October 22: “May I take this opportunity to make you aware
that the original order of the movements as in the first edition—
namely: First Movement, Scherzo, Andante, Finale—is definitely the
one to be restored. Though Mahler indeed changed the movement
order for the second edition, apparently under the influence of others,
he later realized that the original order was the only right one and the
only one that corresponds to the internal structure of the work.
Unfortunately, many conductors still perform the work in the order
that [he] temporarily adopted.”

Here Ratz departed once and for all from any basis in fact. First, he
asserted that Mahler had changed the order “apparently under the
influence of others.” This is totally unimaginable and would have been
utterly unique anywhere in all of Mahler’s lifelong revision process. As
far as we know, Mahler never made decisions as a composer on the
basis of such influences, as Bruckner, for example, had done several
times. The second assertion Ratz pulled out of the air was that Mahler
“later realized that the original order was the only right one and the
only one that corresponds to the internal structure of the work.” There
is—as Jerry Bruck shows in his essay—no documentation of any kind
to indicate a second change of mind by Mahler. For these reasons, the
reference to the “temporarily adopted order” is not factual. Rather,
from 1906 to 1919, the “changed order” of the second version was used
exclusively and unopposed.

The sole support for the restoration Ratz undertook is Alma’s
telegram of October 1, 1919. And Alma Mahler never answered the
question as to the origin of her categorical ex-cathedra decision. One
may safely assume that Alma would not have waited until 1919 if the
decision had been based on any statement by her husband known only
to her. Between 1911 and 1919 there were no fewer than six performances
of the Sixth Symphony in Europe, one of them in Vienna. The
Wiener Konzertverein performed it on November 28, 1911, under
Ferdinand Löwe in memory of the composer, who had died in May. It
would have been amazing for Alma to have attended the concert and
not have immediately registered her objection to the movement order
if Mahler himself had given the original instruction. (Although Alma’s
life in Vienna at that time was rather secluded, she had appeared in
public shortly before this performance of the Sixth, namely at the premiere
of Das Lied von der Erde on November 20 in Munich.) For these
reasons, Alma’s telegraphed statement must be seen as unreliable at
best. Whether it was a genuine mistake or an expression of her own
preference remains an open question.


To be continued...
_________________
http://musicisrotted.blogspot.com/

http://georgannename.blogspot.com/
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Leo K



Joined: 27 Jun 2007

Posts: 274
Location: Tucson...with all the smiling ladies!

PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 4:07 pm    Post subject: If a post contains some illegal issues you may abuse on it - just click Abuse and fill the form Reply with quote

Kubik's essay concluded...

On May 9, 1958, a letter from Ratz to Alma Mahler stated that “the
original order of the movements” indubitably “represented Gustav
Mahler’s last will in this matter,” and “I conclude that the order has to
be: 1st Movement, Scherzo, Andante, Finale, as it is written in the manuscript.”
But this, too, was incorrect, since the manuscript itself contains
Mahler’s handwritten changes “Andante 2” (page 107) and
“Scherzo 3” (page 75). Ratz continued: “I find it truly intolerable that
the work is again and again performed in the wrong order because of
the music publisher’s indolence. It should be the publisher’s responsibility
to correct the matter once and for all.”

It can be seen from the increasingly sharp tone of Ratz’s argument
that he was gradually working himself into the delusion that the
Scherzo-Andante order was right, and developing a “blindness” with
regard to the facts that is of the utmost concern. As late as 1962, the year
prior to the publication of the Critical Edition,Ratz became aware of a
letter from Bruno Walter in which Walter wrote unequivocally that
Mahler had never referred, in his contact with Walter, to any order
other than Andante-Scherzo, and that Walter “could never approve a
reordering.”Walter was Mahler’s closest confidant in musical matters,
and the two were in continuous contact. Ratz once again disregarded
an unwelcome contradiction to his theory. The sad thing is that this
semiconscious maneuvering into self-deception had drastic consequences
for both scholarship and performance practice. Everyone
(among them,Henry-Louis de La Grange and Rudolf Stephan) accepted
Alma Mahler’s and Erwin Ratz’s positions as gospel—and quickly
invented something else in addition (see Jerry Bruck’s essay). For
example, Stephan in Gustav Mahler, Werk und Interpretation, Cologne,
1979, page 59, affirms, “Only after the publication of the Third Edition
. . . did Mahler restore the original order and declare it binding.”
Mahler? No, Ratz! Researchers who otherwise are to be taken seriously
have filled hundreds of pages with reflections on a problem that
does not exist. One thing is sure: Since 1970 at the latest, the primary
influence on the imagination and listening habits of music lovers and
musicians via concerts and recordings has been this “‘Tragic’ mistake”.
l hope that Jerry Bruck’s account of the historical facts, together
with this short survey of the history leading up to the Critical Edition
by Erwin Ratz (and later by Karl Heinz Füssl) will, in the future, make
it impossible to think that the order of the middle movements in the
Sixth Symphony is “irresolvable” and belongs only in the realm of
hypothetical debate. The historical truth is, without any doubt, that
Mahler changed the order on the occasion of the premiere and never
retracted the change. As the current Chief Editor of the Complete
Critical Edition, I declare the official position of the institution I represent
is that the correct order of the middle movements of Mahler’s
Sixth Symphony is Andante-Scherzo.

In closing, I consider it my duty to explain why I did not do this as
early as 1998 on the occasion of the revision of the Füssl edition.At that
time, I was concentrating only on the corrections that were evident in
the main source (galley proofs with Mahler’s revisions for the second
edition) but that Füssl never fully transferred to the Critical Edition.
The movement order had not been questioned by Füssl, and by the
time Jerry Bruck’s well-documented paper arrived, the revised reprint
had already been completed. I have now informed C.F.Peters, the current
publisher, that the score and parts should be corrected at the next
available opportunity.


Next...respecting the performing tradition of the 6th Symphony...
_________________
http://musicisrotted.blogspot.com/

http://georgannename.blogspot.com/
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Leo K



Joined: 27 Jun 2007

Posts: 274
Location: Tucson...with all the smiling ladies!

PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 4:08 pm    Post subject: If a post contains some illegal issues you may abuse on it - just click Abuse and fill the form Reply with quote



I would like to conclude this overview of the 6th Symphony with a consideration of the performing tradition. Just because the accepted order of the inner movements have now been officially established as Andante-Scherzo, this does not mean the great interpeters of the past are 'wrong' for using the Scherzo-Andante order...

Mahler scholar James Zychowicz has some thoughts regarding the performing tradition that I totally agree with:

Aspects of the Performing Tradition:

A further consideration regarding Mahler’s
music is the tradition of almost continuous performance that can be traced to the composer himself. It is possible to observe the performing tradition to begin with the inner movements ordered Andante, then Scherzo under Mahler’s direction, a choice which is validated with the publication of a revised edition in 1906.

While Mahler nowhere indicated his rescinding that decision, Alma’s miscue in 1919 to Willem Mengelberg caused the order of the inner movements to revert to the fair copy, and this influenced a generation of conductors to perform the work in the manner. Nevertheless, other conductors of the same generation, such as Adrian Boult, retained, at times, the “original” Andante-Scherzo order. The confusion about the sequence of inner movements was an opportunity for conductors to make a choice, even though the situation should not have required one.

It was only with the publication of the Ratz’s critical edition that the
first movement order was validated and preference given to what was not the composer’s own preferred mode of performance. This is a problem that provided conductors with the opportunity to approach the score creatively, and a number of fine performances have been noted by the press in reviews or, at times, preserved for future generations in various recordings.

Some fine recordings exist under the direction of a number of notable conductors as Jascha Horenstein, Leonard Bernstein, Sir Georg Solti, Pierre Boulez, and others. Their approaches
to the score, albeit the one which preserves the Scherzo-Andante order, are nonetheless fine, and cannot be dismissed out of hand. Rather, the perpetuation of Alma’s mistaken ordering in the critical edition is an historic fact that is part of the living tradition of the work, which includes, at various times, changes in the preferred order.

Even if every performance after Kubik’s 2004 statement follows his preferred order of movements (Andante followed by the Scherzo), the historic reality includes a generation during which the movements were reversed if conductors followed adhered to the critical edition.

During that time a number of successful interpretations were recorded for posterity, despite their failure to follow the now preferred order. Even though it is wrong, this tradition exists, and it is important to deal in some way with its artifacts in the fine performances that are part of the recorded legacy of Mahler’s music. Such a living tradition is a critical element in music culture, and deserves some consideration in the reception of this work.

It is possible to trace the performance tradition from the premiere of the Sixth Symphony to the present. This tradition shows that Mahler’s Sixth is not a work which had to be recovered from obscurity, but a Symphony that has been known from generation to generation, from Mahler’s lifetime to the present. While performances of this specific work were less frequent in the first half of the twentieth century, the piece was certainly known by the conductors of Mahler’s generation who performed the music after his death.

When considering the continuous tradition of performances of the Sixth,
it is also useful that the reversal of the inner movements was a problem even before Ratz published his critical edition of the work. The conductor Charles Adler made one of the first recordings of the Sixth in 1953 and his performances has the Andante preceding the Scherzo,as did Eduard Flipse in his 1955 recording. Yet after the critical edition was published in 1963, conductors followed the order advocated in it, and recorded some memorable performances that are still available.

Because of the authority inferred from the critical edition,
an entire generation of conductors used Ratz’s order. Musicians like Leonard Bernstein, Georg Solti, and George Szell made recordings that are remarkably effective, and appear to have involved the movement order that Ratz used. The fact that they left some memorable recordings attests to their ability as performers and shows, too, that critical
editions are not without their problems.

Yet in transmitting music from the composer to the performer and, ultimately, to the audience, editions are the appropriate medium. Published versions are not always perfect, even they the composer was involved with their creation and by all rights acritical edition by an experienced scholar should be reliable for the attention to detail that should be part of that publication. Yet these publications are subject to human error, despite the best efforts involved with their creation. Nevertheless, the editorial principles that support critical editions in the late twentieth century differ from those at mid-century, and some excellent models exist for editions of complex works, such as the outstanding edition of Giuseppe Verdi’s operas published by the University of Chicago Press, and other, similar publications.


To be continued...
_________________
http://musicisrotted.blogspot.com/

http://georgannename.blogspot.com/
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Leo K



Joined: 27 Jun 2007

Posts: 274
Location: Tucson...with all the smiling ladies!

PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 4:12 pm    Post subject: If a post contains some illegal issues you may abuse on it - just click Abuse and fill the form Reply with quote

Zychowicz's essay concluded...


Jascha Horenstein


Upon reflection, the “tough nut” of the Sixth Symphony has proven to be something Mahler may not have envisioned as puzzling: the order of movements. Of all the complexities of that score, the sequence of movements should not have become a problem. The critical edition that Ratz prepared did not resolve any ambiguity about this aspect of the work, when it was the perfect opportunity to have done so. Nevertheless, recent concern on this aspect of the Sixth Symphony has certainly addressed the problem. It remains to be seen, though, how the legacy of Ratz’s problematic edition will be treated in the reception of Mahler’s music, since many fine performances and recordings
were based on that score and used the order of movements Ratz advocated. While
current thought has taken a revisionist stance, it is important not to dismiss
entirely some of the fine recordings that used what is now regarded as the wrong
order of the inner movements. Likewise, the otherwise groundbreaking work of Ratz
and others of his generation in producing editions of Mahler’s music is
significant in itself. Scholars in the generations after Ratz can benefit from
the foundation he built, while also treating the history of his edition of
Mahler’s Sixth Symphony as a cautionary tale.



{Todd here} So here we are...what a great story over such a great work of art. For such a work, it only seems fitting that confusion and passionate debate over it's form and creation would result!


Gustav and Alma on a stroll


I also find Alma's involvement with this work very interesting and mysterious. Mahler did put her in the music after all...her intimacy with it's creation is also tied with her intimacy with it's creator in a mystical knot. Her telegram almost single-handedly overturned her husband's final wishes.

In the end, she had a hand in the creation of the 6th, influencing how the Symphony is interpeted today...allowing us to hear the Symphony as it was originally concieved in the intimacy of their home and marriage, before Mahler worried about the Scherzo and Andante, before a note was heard by anyone and he played it for her on the piano in private.
_________________
http://musicisrotted.blogspot.com/

http://georgannename.blogspot.com/
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Mark A. Moore



Joined: 27 Jun 2007

Posts: 47


PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2007 1:46 pm    Post subject: If a post contains some illegal issues you may abuse on it - just click Abuse and fill the form Reply with quote

This is great stuff . . .

M.
_________________
Jan & Dean Box Set

Jan Berry / Jan & Dean Tribute
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Local Gentry Forum Index -> -> The Record Room All times are GMT
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
Page 3 of 5

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


© 2007 Informe.com. Get Your Own Free Portal.
Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group

PurplePearl_C 1.02 Theme was programmed by DEVPPL JavaScript Forum
Images were made by DEVPPL Flash Games