PUCCINI: Manon Lescaut
FOR THE LOVE OF MAHLER - A film by Jason Starr aboit the inspired
life of Henry-Louis de la Grange, author of the definitive and most
comprehsneive book about Mahler.
We have two fine films by Jason Starr. Everywhere and Forever r is essential viewing for those who love Mahler's works. It is a highly detailed, sensitive examination of Das Lied von der Erde. This is is a "song symphony," Mahler's setting of six ancient Chinese poems about beauty, life, sorrow, loss, and death. Each episode is discussed in detail in a most revealing way, with commentary by Peter Franklin, Thomas Hampson, Hanry-Louis De La Grange, Stephen Hefling, Catherine Keller, Marina Mahler (the composer's grand-daughter), and Morton Solvik. Throughout we have video clips of the music performed by the Suisse Romande Orchestra conducted by Neemi Järvi (the total uninterrupted performance is available on video (coupled, appropriately with Strauss's Death and Transfiguration (REVIEW).This is a major addition to the Mahler video library.
Also of major interest is the other video, For the Love ofMahler, featuring the famous writer Henry-Louis De La Grange, author of the four-volume book on Mahler and his music. Now 91, he is living history, having studied with Yvonne Lefebre and Nadia Boulanger. He was a distinguished critic for the New York Times and wrote for many leading magazines. He first heard music of Gustav Mahler in 1945 in a concert with Bruno Walter and the New York Philharmonic performing Symphony No. 9. It surely made an indelible impression as since that time Grange has devoted his life to Mahler's music and done much research. It is a pleasure and fascinating to observe him speak articulately about his beloved subject. Grange does so with quiet authority and total knowledge and sincerity. Special features include "mini-documentaries" which expand on the biographical, philosophical, and musical issues. Participating are Pierre Boulez, Christoph Eschenbach, Riccardo Chailly, Thomas Hampson and Marina Mahler. This has been beautifully filmed and edited. An outstanding release! If you love Mahler's music surely you should investigate not only the two DVDs mentioned here, but the Järvi performance of Das Lied mentioned above.
R.E.B. (April 2016)