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Rathert, Wolfgang (2011): Mahler und Amerika – eine Skizze. Neue Weltanschauungsmusik? In: Musik und Ästhetik, Vol. 15, No. 4=60: pp. 66-75

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The American years of Gustav Mahler (1908-1911) constitute the final, by now thoroughly researched phase of his life and his artistic existence, which still raises numerous questions for interpretation. This article examines them with reference to the paradoxical situation of American music life on the East Coast before the First World War, which was highly developed institutionally, but artistically dominated by European composers and performers. Mahler´s successful work as a conductor and the reception of his music show an attempt to exert considerable music-political influence on American musical life, but at the same time stand in the context of aesthetic constellations in American modernity before 1910, which was located between artistic emancipation (Ives) and a pessimistic »redemptive culture« (Mason). The article concludes by arguing for a de-mythologisation of Mahler´s American period.

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