“The tricky thing if you’re an aspiring filmmaker is, I think, if you’re young and particular the danger is always being clever. That cleverness is a facility some of us have and we like to show off and show off how smart we are, it’s a very dangerous kind of seduction because, it’s sort of like when you have an answering machine and you leave a clever message and after a little while you get a little tired of it, you know, it doesn’t have much staying power. The issue is, what is it you’re in love with? What is it that compels you? What is it when you’re alone and you’re not with all your cool and hip friends, what is it that really stirs you? That’s the stuff. You know that’s going to be compelling. What is it that embarrasses you, that you fear to expose about yourself, your feelings about others or about the world in which you live? It’s those intimate feelings that one has that I think bear the best fruit for you.”—
The fourth movement is arguably Mahler’s most famous single piece of music, and is the most frequently performed extract from Mahler’s works. It is perhaps best known for its use in the 1971 Luchino Visconti film Death in Venice. However, it was frequently performed on its own before then, chiefly because in the early 20th century music programmers did not believe whole Mahler symphonies would be acceptable to audiences. Indeed, the British premiere of the entire Fifth Symphony came thirty-six years after the Adagietto alone had been introduced; that performance of the Adagietto was conducted by Henry Wood at a Proms concert in 1909.
It was written as Mahler’s love song to Alma. According to her letter to Willem Mengelberg, Mahler left a small poem: “Wie ich dich liebe, Du meine Sonne, ich kann mit Worten Dir’s nicht sagen. Nur meine Sehnsucht kann ich Dir klagen und meine Liebe. (How much I love you, you my sun, I cannot tell you that with words. I can only lament to you my longing and love)
“I remember reading this book on mythology—like, the mythropes in writing—and it blew my mind that all of that mythology is basically men writing about men and great myths for men, of which there are so many. And then there are only a handful of myths about women and they’re also written by men, so you start to realize that so much of storytelling has been lost in male perspective and you’re either Persephone—innocent, naive, and kidnapped by Hades into the underworld and has to be rescued; or you’re like Athena—unapproachable, vicious and there’s no gradient. And for me, it’s an amazing thing to begin to think about what it means to tell feminine mythology because it needs to be invented, it doesn’t exist; and also, what does inherently feminine storytelling and structure look like?”—Brit Marling for Violet Magazine Interview here starting pg. 202 (via pambeesly)