By accident, I am a fan of Mahler, seen through the eyes of Ken Russell. I would not even attempt to pretend that I know the first thing about classical music. This much must be abundantly clear by now. I rely solely on the sound experience when listening to classical music, which I do enjoy but find quite demanding. Hence, brief sittings are the best I can do.
The Ken Russell Mahler is an overwhelming story accompanied by Mahler's music. I had never been able to get hold of the music - especially the lieder- in the pre-internet days. It is one of the few movies I have bothered to see THREE times. I suppose it has to do with seeing it at an impressionable age for the movie does not seem popular and by 1985 it had recorded a net loss of £14,000 - so I read now. It had received an award of sorts at the Cannes Film Festival, though.
Some years ago, I had sent a friend a copy of the DVD - delivered in the US but bought in Britain - much as I would have liked to keep the DVD for myself. She did not seem to share my views as the movie was never mentioned again. I must also confess that I fell in love with Alma (Mahler's movie wife). Perhaps that explains more about my infatuation than I would like to know.
Anyway, great clip, Trog, and here is a link about the movie.
I wonder at where he found the time to write all that music. (Compare poor Livingstone, for instance). Although maybe marital tempestuousness can lead to great creativity.
Right, apparently he had either a problem with impotence later on, or he avoided intimacy because he thought he might die of his weak heart. (Maybe that is why he was so sad). So he had time to write music after all.
This, apparently, put a strain on their marriage - Alma being a particularly passionate woman. ("There is not one spot on your body that I would not like to caress with my tongue." - Alma in a letter to Walter Gropius).
(I had no knowledge of his personal life, really. I didn't see the film - maybe I was too young at the time. Those days they had a 2 to 21 age restriction if somebody said 'xxxx'. The impression I got was that he was portrayed as a mildly bipolar neurotic. I suspect that much of it was also based on the writings of Alma, who is today regarded as the ultimate unreliable narrator. In fact, Mahler scholars speak of 'The Alma problem', because of everything she said they have to decide if it bears any semblance to reality, or not).