Sunday, November 16, 2008

Justice and tribute to Mahler

Leonard Bernstein Essay on Mahler "Little Drummer Boy" is this story about Mahler, you must see, if you want to know about the composer and his music. It is also far better story, than Ken Russell's one. Of course it is hard to compare the essay of famous conductor with a fiction of avant-garde film director. But, the "Little Drummer Boy" tells us the deep dramatic story of Mahler life, his internal struggle of his Jewishness, that he officially abandoned by converting to Catholicism, but that he also never had forgotten, and that is present in this way or another in his music. Bernstein shows, how this personal drama of Mahler - the drama of his pursuit of musical career to its top European heights of Vienna Opera, for which he sacrificed his religion - influenced his musical message - how this interplay between Judaism and Christianity stamped a tragic but also great mark on his life. Another fault line of Mahler's life marks the drama of life and death. Here Bernstein shows how important was Mahler's awareness of death - death of his beloved daughter, the death threat upon himself, death of many innocent people of his time.

What is great about "Little Drummer Boy" is the passion of Bernstein and his ability to show the meaning of Mahler music itself. He does not resort to music's "programme", but tries to explain the meaning of pure musical qualities. Strongly recommended movie.

No comments:

Post a Comment