Highly Recommended: [Experiencing Mahler] will be appreciated by music lovers at all levels of expertise. The book is valuable as a journey through Mahler's oeuvre with an intelligent and perceptive companion, and as a good excuse to revisit the work of a most important but often misunderstood modern classical composer.
Ashby takes the reader on an informed tour of each work . . . Describing music with words is difficult, but Ashby is an engaging writer . . . What sets his book apart from similar efforts are CD timestamps . . . that allow readers to “drop the needle” on exactly what is being discussed at a given moment.
Where does one start? How could even a seasoned Mahlerian find fresh perspectives on his work? If you’re completely new to Mahler’s music, where do you go for an informed but approachable introduction? The answer to all three questions is Arved Ashby’s Experiencing Mahler. Taking us one by one through the symphonies and major song cycles, Ashby combines history, analysis, and critical observation into a highly enjoyable and thought-provoking read. For a clear and informative introduction to Mahler, look no further.