After reading through the Classical Music Forum, this discussion on Mahler caught my eye, and I thought I would bring it to your attention. Drop by the Classical Music Forum to post a question and comment. You'll find the community very welcoming, friendly, and helpful.
The QuestionUser, Alelvi: I'm a BIG Mozart fan, love piano music that is easy on the soul, so I love also Chopin, (his two [piano concerto's] especially), love Brahms, love a lot of Rachmaninoff, I think the 18th movement of the Rhapsody is just about the most gorgeous thing ever written...and not too crazy about Beethoven (forgive me for saying so), with the exception of his symphonies 5, 9, and 6. SO, the question is, understanding a little of my taste, does anyone out there have any idea if anything by Mahler might be of interest?
The RepliesUser, ThomasTallis: I think I'd give his Des Knaben Wunderhorn songs a try. IF you like them, try the 3rd or 4th Symphonies. The third is quite long, but very beautiful. If your'e really just after "easy listening" Mahler is probably not for you.
User, Alelvi: Thanks for the advice. Just to be a bit clearer though, I'm not sure I'd call myself an "easy listener" although maybe that's not too far off, but I do adore Brahms Third Symphony, to me it's full of turbulence and emotion, and it's not happy at all...what I do NOT like is to be shocked (really quiet then BOOM) I don't like to have to turn up too loud my system to hear the softer parts and then get my eardrums knocked out...does Mahler do this kind of thing? If so, what symphonies or all?
User, Percussionist7: If you don't like to be "shocked" then stay away from Mahler's 6th Symphony--the fourth movement contains, literally, hammerblows. Actually, most of his symphonies have a very large dynamic range--try the Urlicht from his Second, then the last movement. So I don't know if Mahler would really be your thing.
User, ThomasTallis Mahler's first four symphonies are all based on Des Knaben Wunderhorn. The first is called the "Titan" (not Mahler's title) and is not typical of mature Mahler. The second is called the "Resurrection" (Mahler's title) and is magnificent, but the first movement is very turbulent with enormous contrasts. The finale is one of the great thrills in music. The third is the longest symphony in the repertoire, lasting nearly two hours and features a women's chorus, a boy's chorus and a soprano solo. The fourth is much shorter, probably the most lyrical of Mahler's symphonies and has just a soprano solo.
The ninth is four huge adagios very slow and very beautiful. It's always considered to be Mahler's farewell to life (he had been diagnosed with the heart condition that would later kill him).