New in paperback. Hardcover was published in 2010. In this highly original account of Mahler's life and work, Norman Lebrecht - renowned writer, critic and cultural commentator - explores the Mahler Effect, a phenomenon that reaches deep into unsuspecting lives, altering the self-perceptions of world leaders, finance chiefs and working musicians. Part biography, part travelogue, part hitchhiker's guide, this is a multilayered exploration of the role that his music plays as the soundtrack to our lives.
A century after his death, Gustav Mahler is the most important composer of modern times. Displacing Beethoven as a box-office draw, heard in Hollywood films and on state occasions, his music inspires particular devotion. Some believe it helps heal emotional wounds, others find intellectual fascination in its contradictory meanings, and many feel that the music captures the yearnings and anxieties of our post-industrial society. In this highly original account of the composer's life and work, Norman Lebrecht explores the Mahler Effect, asking why Mahler's music has become the soundtrack to our twenty-first-century lives.
Table of Contents
Preface: After Mahler, Another Deluge? vii
Introduction: Desperately Seeking Mahler xiii
Part I Why Mahler?
1 Some Frequently Asked Questions 3 (20)
Part II Who Is Mahler? - The Life and Times
2 Living in a Nowhere Land (1860-1875) 23 (15)
3 City of Dreams (1875-1887) 38 (14)
4 A Symphony Like the World (1887-1891) 52 (13)
5 Rise Again (1891-1894) 65 (16)
6 What Love Tells Me (1895-1897) 81 (16)
7 A Taste of Power (1897-1900) 97 (19)
8 The Most Beautiful Girl in Vienna (1901) 116 (20)
9 Small Interludes of Happiness (1902-1906) 136 (21)
10 Three Hammer Blows (1907) 157 (14)
11 Discovering America (1907-1910) 171 (30)
12 To Live For You, To Die for You 201 (23)
13 After Mahler (1911-2010) 224 (15)
Part III Whose Mahler?
14 A Question of Interpretation 239 (56)
Part IV How to Mahler
15 Finding the Key to a Private Space 295 (4)
Notes 299 (24)
Acknowledgements 323 (6)
Bibliography 329 (10)