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 resourcessome unavailable to previous biographersand 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.Fischer explores Mahler s early life, his relationship to literature, his achievements as a conductor in Vienna and New York, his unhappy marriage, and his work with the Metropolitan Opera and the New York Philharmonic in his later years He also illustrates why Mahler is a prime example of artistic idealism worn down by Austrian anti Semitism and American commercialism Gustav Mahler is the best sourced and most balanced biography available about the composer, a nuanced and intriguing portrait of his dramatic life set against the backdrop of early 20th century America and fin de sicle Europe....
|Publisher||:||Yale University Press Translation edition August 9, 2011|
|Number of Pages||:||766 pages|
|File Size||:||599 KB|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Gustav Mahler Reviews
Having tried to get through the massiveness of La Grange's overly comprehensive biography, I longed for something with more brevity. Fischer does that with alacrity here. I've been a devotee of Mahler for a long time now, and reading this account of his life during college only made my appreciation grow. Fishcer's style is clear, intelligent, and engaging. There are no longueurs here, and for the meat of the text only being around 600 or so pages, he does an able job of capturing the fullness of Mahler's life. Oxford's publishing is very handsome, the typeface beautiful in its legibility. Get this one if you want to know about the man, and skip La Grange.
This is the most comprehensive Mahler biography that I've been able to find. It is a true BIOGRAPHY, not a mere chronicle. Each of his major works is discussed in some detail in layman's language and a well-documented discussion of the composer's inner life and philosophy is given. My only quibble is that the author's prose is a bit wordy and he sometimes uses recondite words where more familiar words would have severed as well.
I ordered this book for my Kindle and, simply put, can't put it down. Or leave it down, finding it wherever I left it last, to squeeze yet one more little nugget - Mahler's health, his "Jewishness", energy/drive/ambition/punctilio/rudeness... and on and on. The most comprehensive composer Biography ever! - save, perhaps "Mozart" by Hermann Abert.
With numerous Mahler biographies already published, one might assume that all that was relevant about the man had previously been noted. In this well constructed and well written 700 page bio one discovers new insights, even in the shadow of de La Grange's painstakingly detailed multi-volume work.
The excellent reviewers have stated all that need to be stated about this book. It goes into his early years which influenced his symphonies.Also, his relationship with Alma, who would not have married Gustav if she was not pregnant. They were not compatible. She was too immature and he too involved with his work. She hoped to be a muse. Hense later in life she wrote a couple of books that were not accurate. But she later maintained that Mahler was a giant compared to her other husbands. Fischer treats Alma with sympathy.In otherwords, she was out of her depth and spent her life regreting it.
Only 2 criticisms: way too much detailed information and need to include the illustrations and photo in the Kindle edition.
Wonderful update to all the other biographies. I will use this as a point of departure for my next class on Mahler.
For Mahler lovers, this book is a must read, although some chapters seemed to be a bit dry. There is a chapter devoted to each symphony, and somehow these weren't very interesting to me and didn't seem to bring very much to my understanding of the music. The information about the antisemitism that he encountered and how he dealt with it did add to my understanding of his career. Also gave me a much better understanding of his marriage and its difficulties. Overall, I rate it as an excellent picture of the man and composer in the context of his time and culture.