Author Topic: A Wayfarer's Journey: Listening to Mahler - On PBS TV Stations in USA  (Read 8059 times)

Offline sperlsco

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I just noticed this being mentioned on the M-List.  PBS is broadcasting the following:


A Wayfarer's Journey: Listening to Mahler

The Wayfarers' Journey is an exploration of the relationship between music and healing. As 1 of 7 surviving in a family with 14 children, composer Gustav Mahler learned to cope with music as his therapy. Christoph Eschenbach reveals how he found healing and ultimately survival in music after his childhood trauma. Learn how Mahler's work is being used today as part of an innovative therapy to help patients and families learn to heal and hope.

Features Richard Dreyfus as the voice of Mahler, Kathleen Chalfont as narrator
Segments filmed in Philadelphia, Tokyo, and New York
2007

 
It is being broadcast in Houston on 4/5 on the local PBS HD channel.  Get your TIVO's ready!   ;D 
It is also pending release on the PBS website as a DVD. 
Scott

Offline barry guerrero

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Re: A Wayfarer's Journey: Listening to Mahler - On PBS TV Stations in USA
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2007, 05:19:57 AM »
Boy, they better have some certification for this stuff, because I can sure foresee some problems.

Example #1.

"Oh, so your wife is cheating on you by having wild sex with the pool boy. Here, let me relieve your anxieties by playing this alienated sounded, expressionistic scream from Mahler's 10th symphony".

"Gosh thanks. Now I feel so good, I think I'll go down and hit up on that waitress at Hooters who keeps waiting on me. I'll just get even."

"That's the spirit".

Example #2.

"Gee, I'm sorry to hear that you're dieing from some rare form of blood disease. Here, let me play the finale of Mahler 6 at you - it's just so cathartic!"

"Wow, thanks! Those big hammer blows  just snapped me right out of my depression. Thanks, doc."

Example #3

"Oh, I'm so sorry to hear that your former baby sitter's boyfriend molested both of your children. Here, let me help you work through this by playing "Wenn dein Mutterlein" from Gustav Mahler's "Kindertotenlieder". That should do the trick. Never mind that you won't know the words - it's probably best that you don't. Just listen".

"Oh, thanks. It's always so comforting to hear other distressed mothers expressing themselves. Misery loves company, you know".

"Of course. That's $200 please (damn, I've got to get the Fassbaender recording of this!)"
« Last Edit: April 05, 2007, 05:43:56 AM by barry guerrero »

Offline Damfino

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Re: A Wayfarer's Journey: Listening to Mahler - On PBS TV Stations in USA
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2007, 02:22:37 PM »
Quote
It is being broadcast in Houston on 4/5 on the local PBS HD channel.  Get your TIVO's ready!
It is also pending release on the PBS website as a DVD.

Unfortunately, with DiSH Network, the local Houston PBS HD feed is not available to me; they show the standard PBS feed.  However, I can at least watch it via my HD antenna.  Just won't be able to DVR it.

Vatz Relham

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Re: A Wayfarer's Journey: Listening to Mahler - On PBS TV Stations in USA
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2007, 11:52:46 AM »
This program aired last night on New York PBS station.
I thought it was nothing special, quite lame in fact. Most of it was Eschenbach playing excepts from Mahler's music with different orchestra's and him taliking to some children's doctor about how the music can help heal emotional pain.
It also made the usual wrong statements regarding M6 and "the three blows of fate"

Richard Dreyfus was horrible trying to play Mahler as if he had some special insight into Mahler's mind, quite pathetic.

Do we really need a program to tell us how and why we should listen to Mahler's music?

Vatz

Offline barry guerrero

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Re: A Wayfarer's Journey: Listening to Mahler - On PBS TV Stations in USA
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2007, 07:10:11 AM »
it also made the usual wrong statements regarding M6 and "the three blows of fate"

If that came from Eschenbach, that would be truly interesting because his recording of M6 is clearly a two-wacker job, not three.

"Richard Dreyfus was horrible trying to play Mahler as if he had some special insight into Mahler's mind, quite pathetic."

Why not? - he understands everything about sharks, doesn't he?

I think it might be more complimentary if you could prove that Mahler's music really screws you up.


« Last Edit: April 07, 2007, 07:27:15 AM by barry guerrero »

Offline sperlsco

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Re: A Wayfarer's Journey: Listening to Mahler - On PBS TV Stations in USA
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2007, 02:43:40 AM »
Most of it was Eschenbach playing excepts from Mahler's music with different orchestra's and him taliking to some children's doctor about how the music can help heal emotional pain.

I've only been able to watch about 30 minutes of it so far.  I agree that it seems to be a rather odd show.  However, it was very moving listening to Eschenbach's story of his childhood (i.e. Jew affected by Nazis) and how music had such an impact on his personal recovery from the horror.  I'd read his story before, but hearing it from his own lips was quite heart wrenching.  I was hoping that he would share a lot of his insight into Mahler in the remaining hour of the show, but perhaps it is not to be. 

I don't really want to complain though.  I mean, it IS a PBS show on Mahler and his music.  I'll take anything that I can get.  Plus, I'm an Eschenbach fan. 
Scott

Offline barry guerrero

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Re: A Wayfarer's Journey: Listening to Mahler - On PBS TV Stations in USA
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2007, 04:18:13 AM »
"Plus, I'm an Eschenbach fan"

I've sort of become one. Can't say that I know about his background. Nazis are always a good thing to avoid, when possible. Anyway, since Mahler 8 can withstand fairly slow tempi, I'd sure like to get back to Philly to see/hear his M8 performances in late 2008. I have a feeling that those could become the grand-daddy of all Mahler 8 performances in recent decades. They certainly have the organ for it now.

Barry

Vatz Relham

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Re: A Wayfarer's Journey: Listening to Mahler - On PBS TV Stations in USA
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2007, 01:01:57 AM »
Most of it was Eschenbach playing excepts from Mahler's music with different orchestra's and him taliking to some children's doctor about how the music can help heal emotional pain.

I've only been able to watch about 30 minutes of it so far.  I agree that it seems to be a rather odd show.  However, it was very moving listening to Eschenbach's story of his childhood (i.e. Jew affected by Nazis) and how music had such an impact on his personal recovery from the horror.  I'd read his story before, but hearing it from his own lips was quite heart wrenching.  I was hoping that he would share a lot of his insight into Mahler in the remaining hour of the show, but perhaps it is not to be. 

I don't really want to complain though.  I mean, it IS a PBS show on Mahler and his music.  I'll take anything that I can get.  Plus, I'm an Eschenbach fan. 

Scott,

Agreed about Eschenbach's story as child, it was quite touching but not Mahler related at all.
I have no doubt that music can help heal emotional wounds, and Mahler's music can certainly be included in that,
but the program just came accross to me as Mahler as medicine, almost like all those Mozart CD's that came out a few years ago, making baby smarter, prevents depression, helps your love life, ends the war in Iraq, you name it...

Vatz

Offline barry guerrero

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Re: A Wayfarer's Journey: Listening to Mahler - On PBS TV Stations in USA
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2007, 08:15:54 AM »
I think it also brings the music itself into question, if it allegedly does all these things. My point being that - to me, anyway - really good music would have the ability to screw your life up as well -  making one want to dedicate their life to it, and end up spending much of their time writing at sites likes this one   .    .   .   like me!

Vatz Relham

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Re: A Wayfarer's Journey: Listening to Mahler - On PBS TV Stations in USA
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2007, 01:13:32 PM »
I think it also brings the music itself into question, if it allegedly does all these things. My point being that - to me, anyway - really good music would have the ability to screw your life up as well -  making one want to dedicate their life to it, and end up spending much of their time writing at sites likes this one   .    .   .   like me!

Yes, what you say can certainly cause a problem, like an addiction, liking it too much, wanting more new releases, taking up more time in your day/life than you thought on web sites like this one. Of course there are much worse addictions out there, but even so if Mahler's music can cause pain by being addictive it will actually have the opposite affect than what this program says it can do. The same can be said of any music in that sense.

Somtimes you have to walk away from it for a while, then when you come back to it, you hear it in the way Mahler intended, like when you heard his music for the first time and had meaning. Not as the next new release as compared to the last new realease, otherwise it just becomes a bunch of notes with little or no meaning. Or an endless debate on which conductor/orchestra is better than the other, which can be fun, but also frustrating at the same time.

Vatz


 

Offline Jot N. Tittle

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Re: A Wayfarer's Journey: Listening to Mahler - On PBS TV Stations in USA
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2007, 07:12:18 PM »
Richard Dreyfus was horrible trying to play Mahler as if he had some special insight into Mahler's mind, quite pathetic.

Dreyfus was not playing Mahler. He was giving a reasonable interpretation of Mahler's written words. Having about fifty years of experience with what is called oral interpretation, I thought his performance was well above average.

But the program as a whole was somwhat puzzling. The doctors' roles were marginal at best, as were their patients'. The segmentation was well done, I thought---the art of listening, living the moment, etc.---but still not enough substance to make a cohesive program. Treat of Mahler and death without mentioning his near-death hemorrhage experience? Or Das Lied von der Erde?

The factual errors were alarming, to say the least. Mistaking his 1879 affair with Josehpine Poisl (daughter of the Iglau postmaster) for the 1884-85 affair with Johanna Richter in Cassel as the stimulus of Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen shows very sloppy "research." Other errors were having Mahler at age 45 in New York and writing Symphony No. 6 in or after 1907 What else? There must have been others.

Truly an odd production.

    . & '

Offline sperlsco

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Re: A Wayfarer's Journey: Listening to Mahler - On PBS TV Stations in USA
« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2007, 09:31:53 PM »
The factual errors were alarming, to say the least.

Well, I think that these are due to some of the management changes foisted upon PBS over the last several years.  In order to balance PBS politically, they are no longer reporting facts -- just truthiness.   ;)
Scott

Offline barry guerrero

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Re: A Wayfarer's Journey: Listening to Mahler - On PBS TV Stations in USA
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2007, 03:24:28 AM »
Vatz,

It's not even just that - an addiction situation. It's that I object to the whole notion that music or "culture" can make somebody a better person. People get better because they WANT to get better. The music is simply a tool in the process. It's like these nutcases who think that Mozart makes people smarter. I believe that you could do the same exact thing with Elliott Carter or Stockhausen, if and when somebody becomes fully familiar and comfortable with their idiom (not a likely scenario, I know).  In Eschenbach's case, the music didn't fix him; he fixed himself - the music was just a tool in the process.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2007, 05:33:28 AM by barry guerrero »

Offline Damfino

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Re: A Wayfarer's Journey: Listening to Mahler - On PBS TV Stations in USA
« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2007, 03:03:01 PM »
Quote
It's that I object to the whole notion that music or "culture" can make somebody a better person. People get better because they WANT to get better. The music is simply a tool in the process.

Hitler and much of the Third Reich were ardent music fans, but their devotion to "culture" did little to better them.

I think studies show that emotionally disturbed people would probably do better if you got them a dog rather than a Mahler recording.

I remember the scene in Hitchcok's Vertigo, in which Barbara Bel Geddes tries to use Mozart recordings to help snap James Stewart out of his nervous breakdown, before she ralizes that "Mozart isn't going to help at all".

Vatz Relham

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Re: A Wayfarer's Journey: Listening to Mahler - On PBS TV Stations in USA
« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2007, 06:00:45 PM »
Vatz,

It's not even just that - an addiction situation. It's that I object to the whole notion that music or "culture" can make somebody a better person. People get better because they WANT to get better. The music is simply a tool in the process. It's like these nutcases who think that Mozart makes people smarter. I believe that you could do the same exact thing with Elliott Carter or Stockhausen, if and when somebody becomes fully familiar and comfortable with their idiom (not a likely scenario, I know).  In Eschenbach's case, the music didn't fix him; he fixed himself - the music was just a tool in the process.
Quote
It's that I object to the whole notion that music or "culture" can make somebody a better person. People get better because they WANT to get better. The music is simply a tool in the process.

Hitler and much of the Third Reich were ardent music fans, but their devotion to "culture" did little to better them.

I think studies show that emotionally disturbed people would probably do better if you got them a dog rather than a Mahler recording.

I remember the scene in Hitchcok's Vertigo, in which Barbara Bel Geddes tries to use Mozart recordings to help snap James Stewart out of his nervous breakdown, before she ralizes that "Mozart isn't going to help at all".

Barry and Damfino,

I agree with both your comments.

How about a dog that can bark out the fate motif from M6? That should take care of everyone's problems  ;) ;D

Vatz


 

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