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The world of the conductor a series of conversations with leading contemporary orchestral conductors as they discuss various aspects of symphonic music in the 20th century. This is James Keeler invited to join us for this first program in which we'll be speaking with the Polish conductor Paul Kletzky about the music of Gustav Mahler. The world of a conductor is produced and recorded by station W.H. y y in Philadelphia under a grant from the National Educational Television and Radio Center in cooperation with the National Association of educational broadcasters.
With a celebration of the Mahler centennial year in 1960. The attention of the musical world was drawn once again to the works of this controversy or composer. This resulted in new light being shed on Mahler as one of music's truly dominant forces in the mainstream of the musical art in the 20th century. In this significant revaluation of Gustav Mahler we find that the composer's own prophecy about himself that his time would come is near fulfillment. Poet Lecky is generally recognized as one of the leading contemporary interpreters of the music of Mahler and in our recorded conversation with him we began by observing that the composer showed an early maturity in those works written before the turn of the century. As for example in the first and second symphonies. Oh yes you see. The more reason to think of Mahler and speaking
now. We means among musicians when they are coming together and discussing their coming to a very. Strange result. We say. That in the first symphony of Milo there is home. It shouldn't be. You shouldn't think that it means that afterwards he didn't say something you know. But if you are asking for the character of another of this composer. So he gave his all of himself you know as he was in his first symphony. Then came very important developments in his life and. Of course and my father was a very complex. Nature and he's kind of bitter and his characteristics were extremely rich
so that there was space and place for nine symphonies even for the tens and yet again the thinking never finished. And from for some of the earth and for his leaders and as a composer because as you know My Lai was probably one of the greatest conductors ever been when I was a very great conductor and a very great director of Open House. We should never forget the 10 years of my listening and if you know when I. Went probably the clinician's point of the existence of the you know you know like for instance 10 years have been about the news in Munich. Yes. You know and the Mahler fourth. This kind of actor is going to be characteristic of my review excuse my English is very nice I have not the English version and sometimes a bit difficult to speak his language. My love for this took special care it is that is that if you know there
is was a soprano solo. Oh yes yes yes we know that in the Second Symphony got contralto Solon choirboys quietly exclaimed Oh but that a symphony with only one voice. It is the mother for now and this special in this work Mahler fourth. There is another kind of characteristic is a kind of like chamber music extremely poorly formed corners for instance you remember that INS of concerts carats of the symphony that is a solo violin and this violin must beat you want in half a tone higher sharper than a normal violin at what you know what they call in Vienna and Central Europe. It was not a violin you know it should be like smaller than the size in a very penetrating voice. It shouldn't be played beautiful it's very penetrating and open the strings out. Half a tone sharp but it changes absolutely the kind of care of the instrument. You know he was looking for for for
certain color sets a certain kind of expression and I think that he succeeded extremely well because just the forcing for me is becoming as popular as the first. We were speaking before making a statement about the fact that as a conductor Mahler knew the orchestra and I mentioned the fact that this anomaly is reflected in his scores and the fourth symphony. You were talking about the woodwind writing in and Mahler Yes it is absolutely new. Mahler is treating the woodwind group not as a harmonic. Basis you know. Like the Romantic composers before him know he's giving every group of wood instruments back flutes and well clarinets bassoons. He's
treating them like violins violas cellos. You can look at the score and you see that many pages there and part of the of the flutes form from flutes together just in the fourth symphony. Yes in the first movement they're playing for four five six pages alone for themselves you see it is it is not the kind of vertical underlying kind of money underlying in the fields or playing that you know no no no you still think every instrument individually. Like for instance in the first symphony the double bass is not that soon Yes and rather shocking John for a half year. Yeah it is absolutely on her to that. The formality that suddenly you know one double bass is starting to play to you and you can tell me that in the Ninth Symphony. Because in the finale it's played by a chalice and double basses but it's
absolutely another world. This is given that instrument is chosen you know. You know half sarcastic half ironic and half and partly very pleased very sad you know this tune and the the the solo double bass playing by itself gives an entirely different character to the amps much if you have nine the absolute handling kind of thing something you know this isn't spirit this is new this is a new idea. It is those things what we are hearing today say is the development of the orchestral scoring that young composers are writing for the trumpet passages of clarinet and violins use their ball once in a month because they are making all the time a kind of pizzicato noises that they're absolutely strange to the instrument. This is nothing new new are things like in Mahler.
Where they are linked tremendously to the character of the music and still sticking to the kind of the instrument. I like to read a great composers every piece of Strauss Richard Strauss was difficult in the beginning. New passages technique and so on. But it's too linked to the kind of thought of the instrument and I know from my time when I was studying can be lean and you can check it with my very listless colleague George fell who was in the opera and barely an open ended time and Strauss was conducting very often and who performed many of Strauss operas that starts when he was composing new works. He was asking musicians of the Staatskapelle of the orchestra the one by one to come to his house and play the new passages and rounds that he wrote and asked him Is it comfortable. Is it blame going to today the young composer there are I think only
and then they say to the musician who like different hair make a millionaire though don't do your best or even if this unplayable song vacant that thing with the hair. The Mahler fourth one of the things that fascinated me about it when I studied it back in school was how from this opening figure of the first movement it seems to me the whole symphony seems to it germinates from from this moment and the song at the in the finale that's absolutely correct. Absolutely correct. The even the great theme and variations of the of the third movement. Absolutely this is a cunt tabulations when you from the beginning to the end in spite of some explosions you know. Yes. But generally it is the greatest single symphony as we would say as he's saying he's sung from from the beginning to then. So I thought occurred to me as you were talking about the woodwind writing. We hear. We hear a great deal I have heard about Mahler's
using sounds that he had heard in Austrian military music. Do you suppose that this writing for woodwinds may somehow using the woodwinds as caring Milady's long melodic lines etc. may make Mahler was probably one of the most human composers like Beethoven. He was influenced by everything from the life and not only from the human life. Military music is a small detail but I can tell you a fact and you can check it I think with bottle of water. I read it somewhere. It brought the world to came once for a visit and so much time to do stuff now that he was staying somewhere in the country and when they met and Bruno wanted to look to the mountains to the heels to the lakes the mother said to him. That's how I'll assume Vic company and I have composed every think of this what you can see here. Now you see this is
human natural. And very honest and correct and correct. When Mahler is writing it June in Queens on quotes like for instance in the first symphony of the night to sing what he called a Teton something meant for him the greatness of the nature. Like to Beethoven. East between the natural Queens interview on this and yes on which this music to classical music and romantic music till the dissolution of Russian at least ensuring that you know is based on these natural overtones overtones between quadrants of this is for human nature. I've always felt a relationship between the Fourth Symphony and the pastors and the deaf and the absence of it mattered. We have been speaking in this recorded conversation with the distinguished Polish conductor
Paul Kletzky about the music of Gustav Mahler's. This has been the first broadcast in the series the world of the conductor in which leading contemporary orchestral conductors discuss various phases of symphonic music in the 20th century. James Keeler speaking and inviting you to join us next week when we'll be speaking with William Steinberg musical director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. The subject at hand will be the music of Anton Bruckner and experimentation with new sounds among composers of the 20th century. Are Gone. The world of the conductor is produced and recorded by station W.H. y y in Philadelphia under a grant from the National Educational Television and Radio Center and
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The world of the conductor
Kletzki on Mahler
Producing Organization
WHYY (Radio station : Philadelphia, Pa.)
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
Paul Kletzki on Gustav Mahler.
Series Description
A series of interviews with leading symphonic conductors about aspects of symphonic music and their profession.
Broadcast Date
Media type
Host: Keeler, James
Interviewee: Kletzki, Paul
Producing Organization: WHYY (Radio station : Philadelphia, Pa.)
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 62-3-1 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:14:02
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Chicago: “The world of the conductor; Kletzki on Mahler,” 1962-01-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed January 28, 2023,
MLA: “The world of the conductor; Kletzki on Mahler.” 1962-01-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. January 28, 2023. <>.
APA: The world of the conductor; Kletzki on Mahler. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from