ADAM FISCHER about GUSTAV MAHLER
(Excerpt from his booklet notes)
“I am delighted to perform and record the complete symphonies of Gustav Mahler with the Düsseldorfer Symphoniker. The result, we hope, should be something special: a rendition that stems from an active collaboration in which we mutually inspire one another. This should not be “my” Mahler, but “our” Mahler……..
Whenever I conduct Mahler, I attempt to find a way to formulate each symphony’s world and its emotional content in a way that I can apprehend. Out of the music, I spin stories for myself. And I also spend much time learning about the period when the work was written, and about Mahler’s universe of ideas. Ultimately, for every note I need to find a message and make that message my utter conviction. Thus, for instance, I imagine the first movement of the 7th Symphony as the step-by-step protocol of a disease. The dramaturgy seems to be following a fever curve: the fever starts by attacking, then it calms down, then it all suddenly comes back again. The Finale has sparked a multitude of opinions; as far as I am concerned, it should not be read as something directly positive. It sounds more like when one is drawing towards the end of a sickness, trying to convince oneself that one has truly recovered. It is a way of gathering up courage to start over, the will to embark on something new – in reality, however, one is not yet well. In the extended central Scherzo I have a feeling of persecuted angst; the surrounding “Night Music” movements are more or less delusory phases of apparent recovery. But it could all be a dream where certain flights of emotion are felt to be entirely logical, although incomprehensible if one were awake. Thanks to such associations I can reach a state of mind in which I can affirm: “this note has its justified place at exactly this spot, and no other one could be there in its place”. It is the result of a long process, in the course of which I ensure that the scores become my innermost conviction. In my view, this is the conductor´s task. It is exactly the opposite of “work-to-rule”. And, as we all know, convictions can change…….”