In the summer after my junior year of high school (way back in 1994), I traveled to Europe with Blue Lake's International Youth Symphony Orchestra. One of the nicest things about the trip was that we were able to stay with host families instead of staying in hotels. It was a great way to go beyond stereotypes and experience France, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, and Italy from a local perspective.
In a small town in Germany called Bad Kissingen I found something in common with one of my hosts--a love for the music of Gustav Mahler. I had started listening to Mahler during my sophomore year and though it took a little getting used to, he became my favorite composer. My host was so surprised that a high school kid from America had a passion for Mahler that he gave me my first Mahler CD, his first symphony recorded by the Royal Konzertgebouw Orchestra under Leonard Bernstein.
Now, almost exactly 13 years later, I'm going on the second music tour of my life. And though this tour is about tango music, Mahler is still playing a role. Turns out that Andrew is also a big Mahler fan too and we're planning on listening to all his symphonies during our many hours of driving. We started today with Zubin Mehta's recording of Mahler's First with the New York Philharmonic. I realized that I always listened to Mahler indoors and it was an interesting experience to listen to while watching the Ohio landscape pass by. I don't know how Mahler would feel about being consumed on a concrete superhighway, but it worked for me :)
Monday, June 4, 2007