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Symphony No. 6, “Tragic” Naxos 8.550529-30


Mahler, Gustav


Wit, Antoni


Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra

The great Viennese symphonic tradition found worthy successors in two
composers of very different temperament and background, Anton Bruckner and
Gustav Mahler. The latter, indeed, extended the form in an extraordinary way
that has had a far-reaching effect on the course of Western music, among other
things creating a symphonic form that included in it the tradition of song in a
varied tapes try of sound particularly apt for a twentieth century that has
found in Mahler's work a reflection of its own joys and sorrows.

Mahler was to express succinctly enough his position in the world. He saw
himself as three times homeless, a native of Bohemia in Austria, an Austrian
among Germans and a Jew throughout the whole world. The second child, and the
first of fourteen to survive, he was born in Kaliste in Bohemia in 1860. Soon
after his birth his family moved to Jihlava, where his father, by his own very
considerable efforts, had raised himself from being little more than a pedlar,
with a desire for intellectual self-improvement, to the running of a tavern and
distillery. Mahler's musical abilities were developed first in Jihlava,
before a brief period of schooling in Prague, which ended unhappily, and a later
course of study at the Conservatory in Vienna, where he turned from the piano to
composition and, as a necessary corollary, to conducting.

It was as a

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