Musicology professor publishes book about Mahler and Strauss

By Amy Milgrub Marshall
September 14, 2016

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Professor of Musicology Charles Youmans’s latest book, 'Mahler & Strauss: In Dialogue,' is now available from Indiana University Press. Using a wealth of documentary material, the book reconstructs the 24-year relationship between Mahler and Strauss through collage—"a meaning that arises from fragments."

Fourteen different topics, all of central importance to the life and work of the two composers, provide distinct vantage points from which to view both the professional and personal relationships. Some of these points address musical concerns: Wagnerism, program music, intertextuality, and the craft of conducting. Others treat the connection of music to related disciplines (philosophy, literature), or to matters relevant to artists in general (autobiography, irony). And the most intimate dimensions of life—childhood, marriage, personal character—are the most extensively and colorfully documented, offering an abundance of comparative material. This integrated look at Mahler and Strauss discloses provocative revelations about the two greatest western composers at the turn of the 20th century.

Bryan Gilliam, author of "Rounding Wagner's Mountain: Richard Strauss and Modern German Opera," reviewed the book, stating "there has never been a book-length study of Strauss and Mahler, and the reasons are manifold and—now—mostly unnecessary. This book considers the parallel lives of the two greatest Austro-German composers of the late-19th and early-20th century, and does so with great eloquence."

This is Professor Youmans’s second book published by Indiana University Press. The first, "Richard Strauss’s Orchestral Music and the German Intellectual Tradition: The Philosophical Roots of Musical Modernism," was published in 2005.

For more information regarding Mahler & Strauss: In Dialogue, access the book's page at Indiana University Press.

  • Charles Youmans
    IMAGE: Penn State

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Last Updated September 14, 2016