Mahler/Auster: A Synchronicity of Final, Unfinished Masterworks

Make of it what you will:  I broke down last night and listened to the Adagio of Mahler’s unfinished Symphony No. 10– or, to be more precise, the movement once known and performed as all that was left of the unfinished Tenth, which today is frequently recorded in various restorations, as Mahler’s draft sketch of the entire five-movement work proved extant.  Superstitiously, I’ve endlessly put off listening to any of them– it had been years since I’d even played the Adagio, strange and wild with mystical longing as it is, tossing like some tempest-driven sea, endless, wild, oceanic, deathly and yet thrillingly alive.

With the Ninth and Tenth, Mahler famously labored under the hammerblows of fate he had conjured and abjured in the awesome final movement of the Sixth:  his little daughter was dead, his wife Alma was adulterous, and Mahler himself was doomed– dying of the cardiac arrhythmia he worked into the musical scheme of the Ninth.

And I just listened to the Adagio again, just now, and let out a few of those shuddering, gasping wet-eyed cries I’m known to give in those ineffable, for a moment seemingly endless, moments where Mahler reaches out his sonic fingers in the hushed dark towards the infinite, in those heartbreaking, shattering, trembling tones where it seems we see at last, through the hushed darkness, clear as revelation, the fingers of God stretching out to us.

And, returning to the quotidian world, I immediately find that, out of nowhere, Laura Wood has posted a snippet of Lawrence Auster’s own Requiem, that long put-away work he took out in his final months of trial and labored furiously away at, a work which– I have always expected– must be in large part complete, and surely in a state more than worthy of publication– a work for which, for the first time ever, I see supplied a title:  America Erased.

Larry Auster was very fond of synchronicities, so I report this one in the hope it bodes at last the delivery of this manuscript to the world– a final, magnificent proclamation from beyond the grave, the return of a voice too early silenced, and the overture of a symphony of resurrection– the sound of the West stirring from the slumber of extinction.


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