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Day: October 14, 2016

Why would Mahler use so many unusual instruments (like the off-stage cowbells or the celesta in Symphony No. 6) in his symphonies? Are they really helpful for expressing the themes?

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Posted in categories: Music

Brian van der Spuy is quite right that the extensive orchestral palette is in line with Mahler’s desire to encompass the world in his symphonies. Howard Levitsky’s answer, featuring Gershwin’s car horns, is ironic, given the contemporary reaction to the cowbells in Mahler’s 6th: Gustav Mahler Pictures The cartoon’s caption reads: “Herr Gott! Daß ich […]

Lutoslawski said that Shostakovich was simply “the second coming of Mahler.” Would you agree?

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Posted in categories: Music

Did he? The version I’m familiar with is Boulez saying Shosty was “the second, or even third, pressing of Mahler” (Shostaphobia) A lot of modern masters that have not severed themselves completely from Common Practice are in debt to Mahler some of the time. There’s several pieces I can think of that are very close […]

I’m majoring/teaching a foreign language. How can I safeguard my own native identity and culture?

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Posted in categories: Culture

Of course, there is a clear colonialism subtext going on here. If you were studying, say, Russian or Korean in Morocco, would you feel the same? I’m assuming that you would not; you tell me. You would immerse yourself in Korean culture, you would go to Seoul often, you would have lots of Bibimbap. But […]

Do other countries have any equivalents to “states rights”, as in the USA?

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Posted in categories: Australia, Countries

Like other reluctant federations, Australia has a constitution that safeguards powers of the states. These have become less attention-grabbing with time; Australians are still parochial about their states, but they’re more excited when that parochialism involves beer brands than legislature. The WWII switcheroo, whereby the Federal Government appropriated all taxation power of the states as […]

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