Mahler: Swiss/ Germany/ Austria (Symphony No. 1) (Naxos Dvd Travelogue: 2.110550)
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The Places; The journey starts in Switzerland, in the canton of Thurgau, leading from Steckborn and the Bodensee to the Rhine Falls. From Styria, in Austria, comes Hochosterwitz Castle and from Bavaria Weikersheim Castle, the latter intercut with wild life from the Austrian Assling Nature Park. The tour ends amid the strangely shaped mountains of the Dolomites in Southern Tyrol, a region divided between Austria and Italy. The Music; In a remarkable way Mahler, in his symphonies and songs, has seemed to reflect the twentieth century in all its bewildering variety and has now won an established place in concert repertoire. Distinguished as a conductor, his fame as a composer has grown over the years since his death. The music included here is Mahler's Symphony No. 1, nicknamed Titan, not for its massive power, but after the book by Jean Paul, a strong influence over earlier romantics and over Mahler at this stage in his career. The symphony breathes the spirit of the Austrian countryside, reflected in Mahler's songs.