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The Alma Problem

Thursday, March 31, 2011

How do you solve a problem like Alma Maria? Following up on a discussion we began with soprano Angela Blasi last week, we delve into the tumultuous bohemian story of Alma Mahler-Werfel - wife of composer Gustav Mahler, among others, and a composer in her own right - and the discovery that she falsified many of her late first husband’s personal documents. We’ll speak with a singer who has explored the musical side of Alma’s tale, British mezzo-soprano Sarah Connolly, who is currently in New York performing in the Metropolitan Opera’s Capriccio.


Sarah Connolly

Comments [7]

makes me think of a more accomplished version, [professionally and socially] of "madame bovary". i wonder if she read flaubert ? i guess the answer is lost in the ashes of her love letters.

Apr. 01 2011 09:30 AM
GLADYS from Weehawken NJ

thanks to Tim from Brooklyn -
that same someone should also tell JS that - Fatale is pronounced FAHtahle - not Feitale.

Mar. 31 2011 05:14 PM
Susan Tatum from New York City

Sorry I missed the first program you had last week. Was there ever a mention of the tragic events in her life such as the loss of I believe 2 out of 4 daughters? This was especially tragic since it happened after the Kinder Toten Lieder was written by her husband. I have always been a great aficionado of Mhler.

Mar. 31 2011 02:55 PM
Tim from Brooklyn

Please can someone tell JS that the 'femme' in femme fatale is pronounced 'fam'.

Mar. 31 2011 02:44 PM
GLADYS from Weehawken NJ

Here's a strong talented woman who marries and is immediately reduced to a housewife and denied her own easy it is to sit behind a mic today and make assumptions about her talent or lack of it from a few measures of an old piece. Have you any idea how being infantilized, controlled,repressed and suppressed and forbade to do what you love does to a psyche? What if she had done that to Gustav? Please try to show a bit of human understanding - women have been trodden on especially so the more they had to offer. Some men don't want the competition.
Ultimately, whether you like her work or not Alma had every right to write - once ALLOWED to get back to it the spirit had been wilted...
I know how that works.

Mar. 31 2011 02:39 PM
Amy from Manhattan

Well, Allen, given that they quoted from the song in the overview of today's show, I'd say the chances are good! On the other hand, they left Gropius out of her name, so maybe not. But I hope they'll reveal her original last name!

Mar. 31 2011 01:50 PM

Will the segment be including the hysterical tribute to Alma written by Tom Lehrer?

Mar. 31 2011 11:36 AM

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