Sample text for Why Mahler? : how one man and ten symphonies changed our world / Norman Lebrecht.


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The Vienna of Freud, Mahler, Mach, Wittgenstein, Schnitzler, Herzl, Trotsky, and the young Hitler forged the world we know today. It was a meeting point of individualism and collectivism, egotism and idealism, the erotic and the ascetic, the elevated and the debased. At its center whirled Gustav Mahler . . . The man and his music are central to our understanding of the course of civilization and the nature of human relationships.
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Art that is both high and low, original and derived, breathtaking and banal, Mahler's music resists textbook analysis. It is an open-ended mind game of intellectual and ironic discourse, a voyage of discovery that combines self-revelation, consolation, and renewal . . . Each symphony is a search engine for inner truths. To know Mahler is ultimately to know ourselves.




Library of Congress subject headings for this publication:
Mahler, Gustav, -- 1860-1911.
Mahler, Gustav, -- 1860-1911. -- Symphonies -- History and criticism.
Composers -- Austria -- Biography.