Gustav Mahler said before he died, "My Time will yet come." I
was seventeen years old when I read those words in 1965, and thus was
born one of the great love affairs of my life. At that time, there were
no complete sets of the Mahler symphonies available on LP, and of the
individual recordings that could be found, a number were already out of
print. I remember when the first Leonard Bernstein special edition of
the complete (nine) Gustav Mahler symphonies with the New York
Philharmonic (the 8th was with the London Symphony, I believe) came out
in that wonderful big, black leather boxed set with the gold medallion on the
cover. More than once did I fall asleep with the box clutched to my
bosom. His time had indeed come, and on my watch.
My love of Gustav Mahler's music has never waned. And now, I am thrilled to be able to add Mahler as one of the composer pianists on this site.
Several recordings, old piano rolls, of Mahler playing his own music have come to my attention. They are wonderful performances, incredibly orchestral in approach, and they give us a vision of how he might have conducted them.
Included is an examples of his 1905 recording of the opening movement of the 5th symphony which was re-recorded on a modern piano in 1985. What one is able to divine of the inner workings of this music is simply stunning.
The recording of the Mendelssohn Rondo Capriccioso is not verified as being by Mahler, but I include it because it could be and is well worth hearing in any case.
Would that there were more. Perhaps there are other examples of his playing that I will find and add to this page.
Mahler 1905 Welte Mignon piano rolls
"Ich ging mit Lust durch einen grunen Wald"
"Ging heiut morgen uber's Feld" from Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen
06:08 ➢ Symphony 4 in G major (iv Das himmlische Leben)
14:14 ➢ Symphony 5 in C♯ minor (i Trauermarsch)
Mendelssohn Rondo Capriccioso
For those of you who enjoy murder mysteries, here is my first with a strong musical polemic as background
Murder in the House of the Muse
which is also available as an audiobook.
And this is the more recently published second mystery in the series:
Follow these links to our main subject categories
Or go to the Great Pianists Play page