Annapolis Symphony Orchestra: Doomed: Mahler’s Tragic 6th
Gustav Mahler Symphony No. 6 in A minor “Tragic”
The composer’s wife, Alma, said, “‘It is the hero, on whom fall three blows of fate, the last of which fells him as a tree is felled,’ were his words. Not one of his works came as directly from his inmost heart as this. We both wept that day. The music and what it foretold touched us deeply….” Experience has taught us to be wary of portents of doom and gloom especially from the Mahlers who had a special gift for this. He, in particular, was a morbidly sensitive soul who, with the wisdom of our hindsight, embraced every tragedy or potential tragedy as an inevitability. It is a feeling that thoroughly colors his music, dripping with emotion: Gustav Mahler, the victim of cruel fate. Doomed.