In my youth Gustav Mahler was seen by many as a composer prone to noisy or sentimental romanticism in endless monumental symphonies. A man exposing his personal psychology in an unrestrained, almost tasteless manner, too banal and too weird at the same time. Today, however, he may surpass even Beethoven in the standard orchestral repertoire, and the bulk of his output now exists in literally thousands of recordings on the market. His music tremendously influenced my own work and way of thinking at an early age, and this book is neither attempting a full biography nor a new interpretation. It is motivated solely by the desire to share some of this lifelong fascination with other listeners and readers.



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