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Mahler: His Life and Music (Book, plus 2 Audio CDs, plus Online Music Library) [Paperback]

Stephen Johnson
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: £12.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

4 April 2006
'The symphony must be like the world,' Mahler insisted. 'It must embrace everything.' Mahler lived up to his own ideal spectacularly, creating works of such emotional range and imaginative power that each feels like a world in itself. In this book, Stephen Johnson follows Mahler's development as man and composer, and sets out the experiences - the personal joys and sorrows as well as the broader cultural forces - that formed him, and made him one of the most widely loved and admired composers in the whole classical repetoire. And with the words comes the music: 2 CDs of carefully chosen pieces spanning Mahler's compositional life. Furthermore, the purchaser of the book is given access to a dedicated website which offers even more music to listen to, as well as other bonus material.

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Frequently Bought Together

Mahler: His Life and Music (Book, plus 2 Audio CDs, plus Online Music Library) + Mahler: His Life, Work and World + Gustav Mahler: Complete Works [150th Anniversary]
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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Naxos Books; First Edition edition (4 April 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843791145
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843791140
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 15.2 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 364,799 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
I am three times homeless: a native of Bohemia in Austria; an Austrian among Germans; a lew throughout the world. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Concise & Informative 22 May 2011
Excellent book for the person who is inquisitve about Mahler and wants to know what all the fuss is about, well-written narrative that introduces all the salient points about Mahler's life and the impact it had upon his music. For an experienced Mahlerian, it nicely condenses all the recent research that has been done and gives a thorough appraisal of the phenomenon of Mahler and his music and why it has such impact for classical music today.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An inspiring introduction to a great composer 5 July 2011
By Ektor
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I love Mahler but when I listened to him it was mainly to his haunting Adagios and the wonderful Adagietto from Symphony No 5. Stephen Johnson's insightful and delightfully written book makes one realise there is so much more to explore, understand and enjoy and now I'm really marvelling at those spikey scherzos and spending hours really getting deeply into whole works. Quite transforming.

The author's clear and insightful notes on each of Mahler's works really takes you deep into the heart of this fascinating composer and the 2 CDs are a delight with so much wonderful music to tempt you to listen more (and more attentively) and explore further. Mahler's songs have been a revelation - what ravishing sounds and searching themes - Kindertotenlieder especially are profoundly moving.

The only downside to this marvellous book is that I now can't stop myself from buying yet more Mahler CDs!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mahler explained but not demistified 12 Aug 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
For many music lovers and concert-goers, Mahler's music is challenging, not only in its length but in its complexity. Mahler himself said that a symphony should include everything, the whole world and most of his do but not everyone can cope with the expansive and all-embracing.
His 1888/89 Second Symphony, known as the "Resurrection" symphony, with its expanded orchestra and full choir, always leaves me uplifted, inspired and wanting more but at a loss to explain in detail. Johnson's well-illustrated book with its two study CDs provides easy journeys into the complexities in language accessible to the non-musician but it does not demistify. Its structure makes it simple to dip in and the CDs are well produced, making it a very valuable addition to any Mahler library.


For those interested in Mahler, I also recommend these DVDs to accompany it:

Ken Russell's "Mahler"
Michael Tilson Thomas's "Keeping Score - Mahler"
Leonard Bernstein's "Little Drummer Boy".
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Music for free 19 Mar 2014
By Hobhood
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I agree with the generally positive reviews for this book. But an added bonus is that purchase also provides online access to lots of free Mahler from the Naxos download site. You get full performances of most of the symphonies, plus songs.Quality is a bit variable, but some of the symphonies are very good.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book on Gustav Mahler. 20 Dec 2006
By Louie Bourland - Published on Amazon.com
Austrian composer Gustav Mahler has often been described as the one who was the doorway out of 19th century Romantic music into the modern music of the 20th century. Indeed, much of his music was way ahead of its time and still receives wide acclaim (especially his orchestral songs and larger-than-life symphonies).
Stephen Johnson's biography on the life and music of Mahler goes into mass detail of this genuine composer. Great lengths have gone into describing Mahler's inner struggles as a person and as a musical genius. Additionally, much detail is given behind some of Mahler's monumental works including all ten symphonies, the riveting "Das Lied von der Erde (Song of the Earth)", "Das Knaben Wunderhorn" and many of his songs or 'Lieder' as they are called in German.
Besides the well-written essay on Mahler's life and music, the book also includes not one but TWO audio CD's (taken from the Naxos catalog) which chronicle some of Mahler's greatest and best known work. While excerpts from some immortal works are missing here (notably music from the Symphony No.2 "Resurrection" and Symphony No.9), the two CD's offer some prime examples of Mahler's greatness and natural genius and provide an excellent introduction to his music.
With this said, this book is a must for those just discovering Gustav Mahler. It's simple to read and is very in-depth. Also recommended is Constantine Floros's book on the Mahler Symphonies which provides a dissected 'under the microscope' view of all the Mahler symphonies as well as "Song of the Earth".
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