One-hundred years ago today, Gustav Mahler died. The terribly premature passing of the remarkable, exceptional and initial post-modern, post-structural composer was an untimely moment early, not only for its epoch, but for ours some century later where our ears are yet unprepared for the message Mahler left us with. Mahler’s passing today still leaves us alarmed, but perhaps finally open to the call of an orchestration ten decades prior.
Strangely, most western, American ears today resonate around the period of the campfire songs of Robert Schumann, a moment of certainty in mode, key and textual representation in an epoch of tonal and textual certitude. Structurally placed, this chromatic certainty features a strong centeredness, resonant perhaps with the exceptionality of a Western objectivist metaphysic, well placed in an affirmation of the Pax EuroAmericana.