Author Topic: Ken's Mahler and a concert Mahler  (Read 2589 times)

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Online Iain Fisher

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Ken's Mahler and a concert Mahler
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2017, 08:59:04 PM »
A review of a uninspiring Mahler concert is contrasted with the excitement of Ken's film:

‘We’re going to live for ever!’ declares Robert Powell as Gustav Mahler at the end of Ken Russell’s 1974 biopic. We’ve just had the big reveal (Russell said it ‘out-Hollywoods Hollywood’) in which Mahler admits to his young wife Alma that she inspired the lyrical theme in the first movement of his Sixth Symphony. It’s a tale for which the only source is Alma herself, but hey, over the course of the movie we’ve already had exploding garden sheds, interpretative dance and Cosima Wagner in fetish gear. Russell cues the music, and few film-makers have understood better how to cut to a composer’s emotional core. As the credits roll, the first movement of Mahler’s Sixth blazes triumphantly to its close, glockenspiel jangling. Russell leaves the tape running, and we hear the audience explode into cheers.

The review is by Richard Bratby in The Spectator, 16 Sept 2016