The Embrace Everything podcast series is an exploration and celebration of the music of Gustav Mahler. Throughout his life Mahler insisted that music had to, literally, embrace everything. This makes his compositions unusually rich in what they offer both audience and musicians. It’s often delightfully quirky one moment and then deeply tragic the next. Mahler did not shy away from introducing the most low-brow, commonplace musical tune alongside the most radiantly sublime words in all of spiritual literature. Gustav Mahler meant what he said: music has to embrace everything.
Each season of the series will explore a different Mahler symphony. The series will include more than 100 interviews with leading conductors, music scholars, and orchestral musicians—all of whom have extensive first-hand experience with the music, offering an abundance of insights into just what makes Mahler’s music so unique. Additionally, comments from Mahler and his contemporaries will be read by actors throughout the programs. Each episode will explore how Mahler drew not just from the world of music but from the other arts, from the world of nature, and from life itself. Anything that attracted Mahler’s attention was liable to find its way into the music. How did he do this? That’s something each episode will investigate.
Interviews thus far include members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Montreal Symphony, the Vienna Philharmonic, the Berlin Philharmonic, and the London Symphony Orchestra.
Season 1 of the podcast, launched in July 2020, is four episodes about Mahler’s First Symphony. The episodes have also been formatted as a radio program, premiering on WQXR in New York City, and other radio stations across the United States, the week of July 7th, Mahler’s birthday.
Season 2, five episodes about Mahler’s Second Symphony, will premiere in 2021.