As most everyone knows, the centenary of the death of Gustav Mahler is three days away. Gavin Plumley has been counting down the days to the lamentable anniversary by chronicling the final stages of Mahler's illness, which was reported in the press in extraordinary detail. (The above, noting his temperature, pulse, and diet on May 17, 1911, comes from the Neue Freie Presse of Vienna.) Come Wednesday, Mahler will resound around the world. In the city where he breathed his last, the Vienna Philharmonic will play the Ninth Symphony in a special concert at the Staatsoper. In Leipzig, in the midst of a festival of the complete symphonies, Riccardo Chailly will lead the Second. The Berlin Philharmonic, under Claudio Abbado, performs the Adagio of the Tenth and Das Lied von der Erde. In Dresden, Esa-Pekka Salonen conducts the Third. In London, the Royal Academy of Music surveys the complete songs. And in Boulder, Colorado, the annual MahlerFest kicks off with a Lieder recital. There are also commemorative concerts in Amsterdam, Bonn, Canberra, Duisburg, the Hague, Hamburg, Lisbon, Lucerne, Munich, Prague, St. Petersburg, and Sydney. Meanwhile, in New York, where Mahler conducted his final concert, we have ... nothing. I can find no trace of his music being performed here on May 18. (The NY Phil is playing Mahler this week, but they're on tour in Europe. The New Jersey Symphony does the Third next weekend.) Seltsam! Of course, we get plenty of Mahler throughout the year, and maybe it's fitting that the most notable musical event in the city that day is a WNYC concert marking the release of Meredith Monk's Songs of Ascension on CD. This work, which I wrote about in 2009, has little in common with Mahler, yet its mission of transcendence is one that he might approved. Monk: her time has come.
Previously: Endless Mahler, Mahlermania, Mahler graffiti, Mahler on the beach, Mahler grooves, Mahler 150.
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