Composer of the Week: Mahler

Playing with Numbers

Episode 5 Playing with Numbers



In his late works, Mahler tries to play with numbers and outwit God or Fate. Donald Macleod concludes his account of the marriage between Gustav and Alma, and its effect on the composer's output. Their relationship wasn't always the happiest, the terms he laid down for their marriage were far from fair, and she wasn't always faithful to her husband. In this final episode,Gustav finds musical inspiration in Chinese poetry, and the Mahlers pursue their interest in Chinese culture by visiting a New York opium den. Der Einsame (from Das Lied von der Erde). Kathleen Ferrier (contralto), Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Bruno Walter. Symphony No 9 (1st movement: Andante comodo). Berlin Philharmonic, conducted by Claudio Abbado. Mahler, completed by Deryck Cooke: Symphony 10 (4th movement: Scherzo). BBC Philharmonic, conducted by Gianandrea Noseda.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Donald MacLeod
Producer Geoff Ballinger