Thanks, Mark, this is decent data.
The question is in the counting. Were the songs included as well? If so,
that would certainly expanf the numbers, given the popularity of some in
I once saw a tonguein-cheek analysis of similar type. Based on the pages
taken in the Gramophone catalog, where each song and madrigal were given
separate entries, the writer "proved" that Palestrina was more popular than
My impression is that Maher performances were often clustered- around
significant dates and the like.
I'd love to see the same report broken down by date and work.
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Mark Obert-Thorn
Sent: Tuesday, September 23, 2014 9:49 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Mahler- was Records Ruin the Landscape
On Mon, 22 Sep 2014 12:42:18 -0400, Steven Smolian <[log in to unmask]>
>This is only somewhat accurate.
>During his lifetime, he was performed in Holland but not so much elsewhere.
There's an interesting discussion about how widespread performances of
Mahler's music were in the inter-war period in the booklet to the recent
8-CD set on the Urlicht Audio-Visual label, "The Music of Gustav Mahler:
Issued 78s, 1903-1940" (UAV-5980, pub. 2013). I quote from the essay by
Sybille Werner and Gene Gaudette:
"Researching the subject for Professor Henry-Louis de La Grange surprising
facts emerged ... [S]o far, well over 2000 Mahler orchestral performances
under more than 300 conductors have come to light in the period between
Mahler's death in 1911 and WW II."
The essay then goes on to mention about 400 performances in Holland during
this period, another 400 or so in Vienna before the Anschluss, 900 in
Germany before the Nazis banned his music, and about 200 in the U.S. The
conductors who presented the largest number of Mahler works during this
period were Mengelberg (over 300 listings), Walter (about 150 before WW II),
the Dutch Peter van Anrooy (85), Oskar Fried (70), Klemperer (55), and
Furtwangler (42), among others.
The essay continues:
"What all the statistics ultimately demonstrate is that Mahler's music was
programmed frequently in pre-WW II Austria, the Netherlands, and especially
in Germany. While it is difficult to accurately compare the pre- and post-
war popularity of his music, the numbers show that from 1945 until the
Mahler Renaissance of the 1960s, much less of his music was heard in the
concert hall than during the pre-WW II years. While Mahler only slowly
regained his place in the repertoire in Europe, the focus of performances
shifted to the United States where many expatriate European conductors
programmed his works."
Mahler's music was apparently well-known enough to warrant a salon orchestra
recording of a "potpourri" of themes from "Das Lied von der Erde"
to be made in Vienna in 1928 (featured in this CD set). Could the whole
legend of Mahler having been a never-popular, forgotten composer have been
cooked up to hype his "rediscovery" on LP in the 1960s? It certainly made
for good copy ("His time has come!").