For Gustav Mahler, there was nothing abstract or escapist about music. ‘The symphony must be like the world,’ he insisted. ‘It must embrace everything.’ He lived up to that ideal spectacularly, creating works of such emotional range and imaginative power that each feels like a world in itself. Uniquely, Mahler made himself the prism through which that wealth of experience is refracted. This book follows Mahler’s development as man and composer, and sets out the experiences—the personal joys and sorrows as well as the broader cultural forces—that formed him, and made him one of the most widely loved and admired composers in the whole classical repertoire.
About the Author
Stephen Johnson has written regularly for The Independent and The Guardian, and was Chief Music Critic of The Scotsman (1998–9). He has also broadcast frequently for BBC Radios 3 and 4 and for the BBC World Service, including a series of fourteen programmes about the music of Bruckner for the centenary of the composer’s death (1996). He is the author of Bruckner Remembered (Faber 1998), a contributor to The Cambridge Companion to Conducting (CUP 2004), and a regular presenter for Radio 3’s Discovering Music. In 2003 Stephen was voted Amazon.com Classical Music Writer of the Year.