Anyone who would even entertain the notion of reading anything contained in this space knows enough about Mahler’s Second Symphony to make any possible explanation I may put forth essentially fruitless. I could wax on about the epic funeral music of the 1st movement, and wax off about the apocalyptic finale, but we all know the story. This piece is enormously popular, and we’ve all heard it at least once, or in some cases hundreds of times (I have a condition!).
Ever since the “Bernstein” revival of Mahler’s music, it has become a key component of every orchestra’s repertoire (you could make a reasonably compelling claim that it has even superceded Beethoven to become THE key component, but that’s a discussion for another dimension). What does this mean? That every conductor, band, and Forbes magazine regular has performed, recorded, or been interviewed about this music, often on more than one occasion.
Why, then, should we even bother listening to yet another interpretation of this warhorse? Two reasons: Continue reading