Not to be Found in the Notes | Gustav Mahler, 1860 - 1911

Gustav Mahler


"What is best in music is not to be found in the notes."

"Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire."

"A symphony must be like the world. It must contain everything."

"If a composer could say what he had to say in words he would not bother trying to say it in music."


Gustav Mahler young                                                                 Justine and Gustav Mahler


"When I have reached a summit, I leave it with great reluctance, unless it is to reach for another, higher one."

"In its beginnings, music was merely chamber music, meant to be listened to in a small space by a small audience."

"The call of love sounds very hollow among these immobile rocks."

"An operetta is simply a small and gay opera."

"Don't bother looking at the view - I have already composed it."


Santa Cecila di Roma. Mahler in rehearsal, Rome, 1910


"I beg of you... never assume an inner or an outer pose, never a disguise. Fortunately, something always remains to be harvested. So let us not be idle."

"I have become a different person. I don't know whether this person is better, he certainly is not happier."

"It's not just a question of conquering a summit previously unknown, but of tracing, step by step, a new pathway to it."

"It is strange how one feels drawn forward without knowing at first where one is going. If I weren't the way I am, I shouldn't write my symphonies."


Gustav Mahler

"Behind me the branches of a wasted and sterile existence are cracking."

"I live like a Hottentot. I cannot exchange one sensible word with anyone."

"It should be one's sole endeavor to see everything afresh and create it anew."

"I hope you will no longer accuse me of a lack of delicacy. as I now count on your understanding."


Gustav Mahler with his daughter Anna Justine Mahler (Gucki) 


"Even if people censure me, they should do so hat in hand."

"It is easier to achieve a desired result in short pieces."

"All that is not perfect down to the smallest detail is doomed to perish."

"I don't let myself get carried away by my own ideas - I abandon 19 out of 20 of them every day."


Gustav and Alma Mahler with seamen and fellow passengers


"What I wanted and what I visualized while composing has not always been realized."

"There is a world of difference between a Mahler eighth note and a normal eighth note."

"In the theatrical works we love and admire the most, the ending of the drama generally takes place offstage."


Gustav Mahler, 1860 - 1911


Gustav Mahler with Dutch colleagues, Amsterdam, 1909 
Max Rienhardt, G. Mahler, Carl Moll and Alfred Roller in the garden of the villa Carl Moll, ph. Moriz Nhr, Austria, Vienna, 1903

Gustav Mahler and his daughter Anna Justine Mahler (Gucki). Toblach (Dobbiaco), Italy, 1909
Gustav Mahler and his wife Alma Mahler, Toblach, Italy, 1909
Gustav Mahler and his wife Alma Mahler, Toblach, Italy, 1909
Gustav Mahler with friends, Prague, 1908
Alma, Maria Eberstaller-Moll, Maria Anna Mahler (Putzi), the conductor Oskar Fried and Anna Sofie Moll
S.S. Kaiser Wilhelm II, 1910

Gustav Mahler, Quartet for Piano and Strings in A minor - Allegro 
Borodin String Quartet 

Gustav Mahler with his daughter Anna Justine Mahler (Gucki) and Theodore Spiering
Zemlinsky, Schoenberg and Schreker in Prague 1912               Mahler with Ossip Gabrilowitsch and Bruno Walter, Prague, 1908


Gustav and Alma with historian Friedrich Spiro by the Appian Way, Rome, Italy 

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