On 9/22/2014 10:42 AM, Steven Smolian wrote:
>> From 1959 through about 1970, I was an active record and, to a lesser
> degree, music critic in NYC. I knew many of the participants on the music
> scene at the time and have vivid memories of these Mahler battles.
> We won.
One record guide described Mahler's symphonies as "vast, neurotic canvases".
Mahler was a symbol of the esoteric that a popular detective novel
describes the daughter of a famous conductor as the musical hope of the
family; (paraphrasing) "at age 12 she entertained serious doubts about
contemporary interpretations of Mahler".
I think, and I'm only half-kidding, that the process of Mahler's return
to the mainstream was greatly eased by Tom Lehrer's song "Alma". He
describes Mahler as "the composer of 'Das Lied von der Erde' and other
light classics". I suspect that more than a few people heard Lehrer's
song and went and checked out one of Bernstein's recordings of Mahler.