Books


Gustav Mahler

A best-seller when first published in Germany in 2003, Jens Malte Fischer’s Gustav Mahler has been lauded by scholars as a landmark work.

He draws on important primary resources—some unavailable to previous biographers—and sets in narrative context the extensive correspondence between Mahler and his wife, Alma; Alma Mahler’s diaries; and the memoirs of Natalie Bauer-Lechner, a viola player and close friend of Mahler, whose private journals provide insight into the composer’s personal and professional lives and his creative process.

Gustav Mahler (Dover Books on Music and Music History)

Conductor, composer, and writer Bruno Walter (1876–1962) worked closely with Gustav Mahler as the composer’s assistant and protégé.

His revealing recollections of Mahler were written in 1936, marking the twenty-fifth anniversary of the composer’s death. Walter first encountered Mahler more than 40 years earlier, when he served as the composer’s assistant conductor in Hamburg.

He worked with Mahler again at the Vienna Opera, and after the composer’s death conducted the debut of the Ninth Symphony and Das Lied von der Erde.

A staunch supporter of Mahler’s genius and defender of his dour personality, Walter cites the pressures faced by a gifted artist striving for perfection.

This edition of his tribute to his friend and mentor features supplemental materials that include a biographical sketch of Mahler as man and artist by Ernst Krenek, the composer’s son-in-law and musical heir, and a new Introduction by Erik Ryding, author of Bruno Walter: A World Elsewhere.

Gustav Mahler: Songs and Symphonies of Life and Death. Interpretations and Annotations (Music) (Vol 3)

A monument in Mahler studies, this volume concentrates on the composer’s vocal music and, in particular, on some of his most famous, most original and best-loved compositions: the late Rueckert orchestral songs and Kindertotenlieder; Das Lied von der Erde, one of the composer’s supreme masterpieces, and the vast Eighth Symphony.

Much new ground is broken but the author bases his conclusions on a meticulous examination of the principal manuscript sources, especially those for Das Lied.

He offers an unprecedented exploration of the original Chinese texts for that work and indeed of the whole Oriental dimension of Mahler’s last and greatest song-cycle.

Gustav Mahler: The Early Years (Vol 1)

Available again for a new generation of Mahlerians, Donald Mitchell’s famous study of the composer’s early life and music was greeted as a major advance on its first appearance in 1958.

Revised and updated in the early 1980s, this paperback edition includes a new introduction by the author to bring this classic work once again to the forefront of Mahler studies.

From his birth in Bohemia, then part of the mighty Austro-Hungarian empire, to a survey of his early works, many now lost, Gustav Mahler: The Early Years forms an indispensable prelude to the period of the great compositions.

The conflicts which came to mark Mahler’s music and personality had their beginnings in his childhood and youth.

Gustav Mahler: The Wunderhorn Years: Chronicles and Commentaries (Vol 2)

A work of painstaking and imaginative scholarship presented in eminently readable language. MUSICAL QUARTERLY Mitchell has amassed and processed an imposing amount of material, most of it new…

It includes a section on Mahler and Freud, discusses Bach’s influence on Mahler, and reproduces contemporary criticism. Invaluable for Mahler scholars and lovers.

Donald Mitchell’s second book on the life and work of Gustav Mahler focuses principally on Mahler’s first settings of Wunderhorn texts, volumes I and II of the Lieder und Gesaenge; his first song-cycle, the Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen; and the later orchestral settings of Wunderhorn poems.

The central section of the book explores the extraordinary and often eccentric chronology of the First, Second and Third Symphonies’ composition, and often minute exploration which reveals the interpenetration of song and symphony in this period of Mahler’s art, emphasizes the significance for these works of imagery drawn from the Wunderhorn anthology, and calls attention to the ambiguous position occupied by much of Mahler’s music at this time, suspended as it was between the rival claims – and forms – of a symphony and symphonic poem.