Gustav Mahler was considered one of the greatest opera conductors of his
time; he could even be called the first intercontinental star conductor. But
that was not the case with his music; until the 1960s, his compositions were
only performed by specialists, the pieces nowhere near belonging to the
Today, however, performances of Mahler’s music rival those of
Beethoven’s in frequency, thus counting Mahler among the most successful
symphonists. What happened to cause that change?
This book seeks to answer that question with the aid of interviews with
the great Mahler conductors of our day. The discussions range from Mahler’s
reception by audiences in different countries to the way his audiences
gradually came to understand his aesthetic as an expression of the modern human
condition, its longings and its aspirations.