[My Gang] Gustav Mahler - Symphony No. 5 Adagietto : Reco of the Week 23 Feb 2010

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Fev 23 2010, 20h49

Track: Adagietto or 'Symphony No. 5 in C sharp minor: IV. Adagietto' although really it's in F major
Artist: Gustav Mahler
Album: Mahler: Symphony No. 5
Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Video: Click the pic:


YouTube, Tessa Virtue / Scott Moir - 2010 Canadian Nationals FD (No commentary)


When Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir finished their third and final dance for the 2010 Winter Olympics, where they won the gold, Robin Cousins, commentating for the BBC, said, "Canadians have found their own Bolero". He was referring to Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean's winning dance of 1984, the only in the history of the games to score a perfect 6.0 across the board.


Source: BBC


The video above is of Virtue and Scott's free dance recorded recently for the Canadian Nationals. By comparison, here are Torvill and Dean, if you haven't already looked it up. Their routine to Maurice Ravel's Boléro (streaming here: Bolero):

(YouTube)

Torvill and Dean are like fire to Virtue and Scott's ice. Where the former burn with passion, the latter transcend it with a more glacial and balletic performance, sparkling with crystalline elegance. I don't think I could have chosen between them and my other favourites, USA's Meryl Davis and Charlie White, who came second, winning the silver with their dramatic routine to Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera.

(YouTube)

Symphony No. 5 was composed in 1901 and 1902 during Mahler's 'second period' when he started to experiment with non-standard instruments and s. Fans of s will be interested to note that they feature in Symphonies 6 and 7. Mahler was then in his 40s, recently married with two children. His wife, Alma, said he was at the "height of his powers" at this time.

Adagietto is the fourth movement of the five and the most frequently performed. It is slow, soft and delicate, scored only for harp and strings, in contrast to the other four which are for the whole orchestra. After the high drama of the preceding three pieces, it is an idyll, a brief respite before the finale and the story ends. The term adagietto means slow but a little faster than adagio.

There is some confusion even today over what key it's in. It is regularly listed as in C sharp minor when in fact it is in my favourite key, F major. The confusion stems from the first movement, which is in C sharp minor, and people have generalised from that. Mahler objected to this assignment: "From the order of the movements (where the usual first movement now comes second) it is difficult to speak of a key for the 'whole Symphony', and to avoid misunderstandings the key should best be omitted." (from Wikipedia)

The structure of the five movements are:

1. Trauermarsch (Funeral March) (C-sharp minor)
2. Stürmisch bewegt, mit größter Vehemenz (Moving stormily, with the greatest vehemence) (A minor)
3. Scherzo (D major)
4. Adagietto (F major)
5. Rondo-Finale (D major)

Most famous for its appearance in the film Death in Venice it isn't typical for Mahler, who is better known for composing 'difficult' music. For many critics, he is the father of music, his and experiments to evoke mood and emotion inspiring a great many musicians of the 20th century. The term 'romantic' music as used here doesn't mean romantic love. It means finding the passion and expression within the music so that it moves the listener. It is the music itself being designed to affect or change how you're feeling as you listen, or put you in a trance as it hypnotises you. These ideas form the essence of what we know as ambient music and explains why you see the ambient tag for Mahler, in case you were wondering.


Source: NY Times


The Winter Olympics in Vancouver are ongoing as I write. Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir winning the gold medal for Canada was a wonderful moment; the audience was in a rapt silence all the way through then erupted in a deafening cheer at the end. My favourite moment, though, was when GB's Amy Williams won the gold as an individual. Robin Cousins was the last Brit to win a gold medal for us 30 years ago and the last British female individual Winter Olympics gold medalist was Jeannette Altwegg in 1952.


Further reading:
Winnipeg Free Press: Goose doesn't hurt if it's done right
http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A14611394
http://www.mfiles.co.uk/composers/Gustav-Mahler.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gustav_Mahler
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symphony_No._5_%28Mahler%29
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symphony_No._5_%28Mahler%29#Adagietto
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romantic_music
http://users.last.fm/~matt/hackey/
http://mediagallery.usatoday.com/2010-Vancouver-Winter-Olympics/Figure-Skating/G1434,C638


Babs My Gang

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Disclaimer: Mines


Source: UPI.com

Admin: Stats as of today:

Last.fm listeners of this track - 39,263
No. of plays scrobbled in Last.fm - 63,684
Position in Last 7 Days: 1 / 690
Position in Last 6 Months: 1 / 9,773

Video
Date Added: February 07, 2010
Views: 5,706, Ratings: 22, Comments: 16, Favourited: 53 times

Stats after 7 days:

Last.fm listeners of this track - 39,798
No. of plays scrobbled in Last.fm - 64,664
Position in Last 7 Days: 1 / 744
Position in Last 6 Months: 1 / 10,489

Video
Views: 13,989, Ratings: 43, Comments: 21, Favourited: 107 times


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Comentários

  • rwitte

    Very topical! An interesting read and the pics are very lovely. too. It's too late to listen to the Mahler. I shall play it tomorrow while I am sending out my weekly recommendations.

    Fev 25 2010, 0h34
  • Babs_05

    Thanks! And Adagietto is quite 'music to fall asleep to', so you could listen to it now, if you had 10 mins to spare. Thanks very much for the comment.

    Fev 25 2010, 1h06
  • hjbardenhagen

    Just wanted to add that the Adagietto is of course the No. 1 track on the Gustav Mahler Last.fm profile as well, even in several "reincarnations". ;-) But there are a lot of other albums with the complete Symphony No. 5 available here, you can find them using the album search with "mahler 5", e.g. a good live recording with female conductor Marin Alsop and the London Symphony Orchestra.

    Mar 1 2010, 8h04
  • Babs_05

    Yes. A lot of people here know what they're doing. It's a great exercise to compare information from here and elsewhere. The thing with here is it's the wisdom of many, whereas elsewhere, it depends on the knowledge of one writer. One of my favourite things to do, comparing and contrasting. :) Thanks for the recommendation, I listened to a fair few last week, don't think I heard this one. Thanks for the comment also.

    Mar 1 2010, 13h51
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