The Mahler Family Letters

The Mahler Family Letters

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Hundreds of the letters that Gustav Mahler addressed to his parents and siblings survive, yet they have remained virtually unknown. Now, for the first time Mahler scholar Stephen McClatchie presents over 500 of these letters in a clear, lively translation in The Mahler Family Letters . Drawn primarily from the Mahler-Rose Collection at the University of Western Ontario, the volume presents a complete, well-rounded view of the family's correspondence. Spanning the mid 1880s through 1910, the letters record the excitement of a young man with a bourgeoning career as a conductor and provide a glimpse into his day-to-day activities rehearsing and conducting operas and concerts in Budapeast and Hamburg, and composing his first symphonies and songs. On the private side, they document his parents' illnesses and deaths and the struggles of his siblings Alois, Justine, Otto, and Emma. The letters also give Mahler's insightful impressions of contemporaries such as Johannes Brahms, Richard Strauss, and Hans von Bulow, as well as his personal feelings about significant events, such as his first big success-the completion of Carl Maria von Weber's Die drei Pintos in 1889.
In the fall of 1894, the character of the letters changes when Justine and Emma come to live with Mahler in Hamburg and then Vienna, removing the need to communicate by letter about quotidian matters. At this point, the letters relay noteworthy events such as Mahler's campaign to be named Director of the Vienna Court Opera, his conducting tours throughout Europe, and his courtship of Alma Schindler. The Mahler Family Letters provides a vital, nuanced source of information about Mahler's life, his personality, and his relationships. McClatchie has generously annotated each letter, contextualizing and clarifying contemporary historical references and Mahler family acquaintances, and created an indispensable resource for all Mahlerists, 19th-century musicologists, and historians of 19th-century Germany and Austria.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 432 pages
  • 156 x 230 x 26mm | 621.42g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Annotated
  • 13 black and white half tone illustrations
  • 0195342674
  • 9780195342673
  • 2,130,158

Table of contents

Introduction: Gustav Mahler and his Family ; The Early Years (Vienna, Kassel, Prague, Leipzig) ; Budapest, September 1888-March 1891 ; Hamburg, March 1891-April 1897 ; Vienna, April 1897-November 1907 ; The Last Years (New York, Toblach, Vienna) ; Appendix I: Biographical Notes
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Review quote

McClatchie's book encourages students to examine Mahler's complete life in a book that is well organized, systematic, and a pleasure to read. This work is highly recommended for any collection of Mahler studies and a valuable source for research and teaching. * Mary H. Wagner, Notes *
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About Stephen McClatchie

Vice-President (Academic and Research), Mt. Allison University, and author of Analyzing Wagner's Operas: Alfred Lorenz and German Nationalist Ideology (Rochester, 1998).
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