In this episode, Tom is joined by special co-host Jerry Miskell for an interview with author Stephen Johnson about his latest work, The Eighth: Mahler and the World in 1910, which was named one of the best books about classical music in 2020 by the BBC.
In the book, Stephen recounts the far-reaching effect of Mahler’s 8th Symphony on composers, conductors and writers of the time. Stephen re-assesses Mahler’s thoughts in the context of the prevailing thought of his age, not only in relation to the artistic and intellectual movements of the time, but through consideration of political climate and historical background, and on into science, medicine, technology, mass entertainment, and even the development of modern PR.
Stephen Johnson is an author, composer and broadcaster, and has been called “The authoritative British voice of classical music.” He has been a frequent broadcaster for BBC Radio 3, Radio 4 and World Service, and has written regularly for the Independent, the Guardian, BBC Music Magazine and Gramophone. (Learn more at Stephen’s website.)
Jerry Miskell is a viola player with the Akron Symphony Orchestra and chair of the music department at Mount Union University, where among his many duties he teaches an advanced class called Hearing Heaven: Death, Dying and Afterlife in the Music of Gustav Mahler. The 8th Symphony remains Jerry’s favorite work by Mahler, although it remains just one of the two he has not performed professionally.
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