Gustav Mahler is often thought of as one of the last of the Romantic composers and, as a result his influence on the development of twentieth-century music has been little explored. In this ground-breaking study, Stephen Downes shows that Mahler's music was in fact greatly admired by major composers Benjamin Britten, Kurt Weill and Hans Werner Henze. Despite their initial admiration being notably dissonant with the prevailing Zeitgeist - Britten in 1930s England, Weill in 1920s Germany and Henze in 1950s Germany and Italy - Downes argues that Mahler's music struck a profound chord with them because of the powerful way in which it raised and intensified dystopian and utopian complexes and probed the possibility of fulfilment or redemption, an ambition manifest in ambiguous tonal, temporal and formal processes.
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Britten and Mahler 60
5a Frank Bridge The Sea Seascape ﬁg 3 86
6b Britten Seascape close 92
shocks dreams and temporality in
12a and 3 12b Weill Der Silhersee instrumental coda to Act 2 bb 484
Henze and Mahler 196
List of music examples
after ﬁg 33 to ﬁg 36 250
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Adorno aesthetic afﬁrmation allegory allusion ambiguity artistic Aschenbach bars bass Bassarids beauty Beethoven Benjamin Britten Bridge’s cadence cadential Cambridge University Press chords chromatic climactic coexistence composer conﬁrmed conﬂict cont contrast counterpoint cresc cultural Death in Venice diatonic dissonant dominant six-four essay evoke Example expressive ﬁg ﬁgure ﬁnal ﬁnale ﬁrst movement Fourth Symphony Frank Bridge fulﬁlment German gesture Goethe’s Grimes Grimes’s Gustav Mahler Hans Keller Hans Werner Henze harmony heard Henze’s identiﬁed idyll inﬂuence Kurt Weill Mahagonny Mahler’s Fourth Mahler’s music Mahlerian Mann’s material melodic minor Mitchell modern montage motive move movement of Mahler’s naive neue Orpheus Ninth Symphony opening opera pastoral pentatonic Peter Peter Grimes piano poetic recall redemptive reﬂected relationship romantic symbol Schiller’s Schoenberg sentimental signiﬁcance song Stravinsky structural suggests surrealism surrealist theme Theodor W tonal tonic tradition trans transcendent triad Tristan Wagner Weill’s music Werner Henze Whittall