Born: 1860, Kalisté, Bohemia
Died: 1911, Vienna, Austria
“Only when I experience do I compose — only when I compose do I experience.”
Mahler’s instrument was the orchestra. In his own lifetime he was best known as a powerful and reforming conductor, working as director of the Vienna Opera for ten years and then at the New York Philharmonic and the Metropolitan Opera near the end of his life. He wrote no concertos, concentrating on large-scale orchestral works and songs. The extravagant emotional range of these works disturbed many of Mahler’s contemporaries, but that cathartic tension and passion has since endeared him to a large audience.
Janet Baker, New Philharmonia
Orchestra, Sir John Barbirolli (EMI)
Symphony No. 6 (1903-1904)
Christoph Eschenbach (Ondine)