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Arts & Culture

What's New: Gustav Mahler

Kousaku Nakagawa

You might have the world on a string according to Harold Arlen, or the world could be your oyster, as Shakespeare wrote in The Merry Wives of Windsor. Composer Gustav Mahler said "A symphony must be like the world. It must contain everything." We’ll hear symphonies that contain everything, including a wonderful new release of the Symphony of a Thousand by Gustav Mahler on today’s What’s New.

Don't miss new releases with the Dusseldorf Symphony, Royal Concertgebouw, as well as Gustavo Gimeno and the Luxemborg Philharmonic.

What’s New is a production of WBAA Classical, a listener supported broadcast service of Purdue University.

Text from Mahler's Symphony Number 4: We enjoy heavenly pleasures and therefore avoid the earthly stuff. No worldly tumult is to be heard in heaven. All live in greatest peace. We lead angelic lives, yet have a merry time of it besides. We dance and we spring, We skip and we sing. Saint Peter in heaven looks on. John lets the lambkin out, and Herod the Butcher lies in wait for it. We lead a patient, an innocent, patient, dear little lamb to its death. Saint Luke slaughters the ox without any thought or concern. Wine doesn't cost a penny in the heavenly cellars; The angels bake the bread. Good greens of every sort grow in the heavenly vegetable patch, good asparagus, string beans, and whatever we want. Whole dishfuls are set for us! Good apples, good pears and good grapes, and gardeners who allow everything! If you want roebuck or hare, on the public streets they come running right up. Should a fast day come along, all the fishes at once come swimming with joy. There goes Saint Peter running with his net and his bait to the heavenly pond. Saint Martha must be the cook. There is just no music on earth that can compare to ours. Even the eleven thousand virgins venture to dance, and Saint Ursula herself has to laugh. There is just no music on earth that can compare to ours. Cecilia and all her relations make excellent court musicians. The angelic voices gladden our senses, so that all awaken for joy.

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