The Slipped Disc daily comfort zone (31): Burying Alma

Frau Mahler would have loved it.

Shame she couldn’t be around for her obit.

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  • Tom Lehrer…….BEYOND being brilliant………..

    (The “Chow House” reference remains, for decades, one of my most cherished moments of humour….)

  • The great, great Tom Lehrer! I was raised on his records by my enlightened parents, bless them. Well, among other music. I have his entire collection on CD, I think I need to listen to them again……

  • Terrible woman. Difficult to understand what all those neurotic artists saw in her. Freud would have suggested: they needed her to become conscious of their own, suppressed neuroses.

  • In fairness to Alma, Gustav Mahler was a very fussy and rather difficult man until she started having an affair with Walter Gropius. Richard Wagner, in contrast, was a much better husband to Cosima than Mahler to Alma. Neither Alma nor Cosima were particularly pleasant characters. Robert Schumann had the best wife, the exceptional Clara.

  • I’m not sure that Alma would have loved it, as she wasn’t known for having a great sense of humor. Anyway, Tom Leherer taught math or physics at U.C. Santa Cruz, close to where I live. However, I’ve yet to meet a single person in S.C. who knows him, or had known him (he was born in 1927!). I keep the Tom Leherer cd that has “Alma” at the beginning of my Mahler cd collection.

    • I was a post-doc at UCSC in the 1960s. I once called into the office of a Maths staff member to get the date and time of the next meeting of a regular poker school that we both played in. He had been chatting with a colleague, who learned during the subsequent conversation that I was a New Zealander. “Are New Zealanders crazy people?” he asked. “I hear they really like Tom Lehrer songs and they’ve asked him to tour there.” I replied that I and my student cohort in NZ loved the songs and knew most of them word-for-word. I asked him why he was interested.

      “I’m Tom Lehrer,” he replied.

  • Give credit where credit is due. This is one of the many masterpieces by Tom Lehrer, who, it’s worth knowing, celebrated his 92nd birthday last week. In his way, he was a genius, creating beautifully crafted songs with satirical but very pointed messages. Most remain timeless (“Pollution” should be heard, in light of the announced relaxation of mercury emissions approved by the so-called EPA). And let us praise Tom’s gift for rhyme! Who else could rhyme Gustav and Alma as cleverly as he did?

  • One of my favourite Lehrer songs. “Alma was no Bernadette”. His gift for rhyme stood out in this song. To add to the others listed in the comments, “Werfel” and “careful”.

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