Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/8451
Gustav and Alma Mahler - their relationship and its influence on Gustav's compostions
While writing this essay, my plan was to examine what songs were quoted in Gustav Mahler's symphonies, and how their lyrics might relate to present domestic events or if they showed signs of being inspired by his wife Alma. (I'll explain why I wanted to specifically examine his compositions from the time they were married and onwards in Chapter 1.) This plan, however, largely failed for the reason that his style changed after the Fourth Symphony was finished – shortly before they married – which brought with it that songs no longer played a large part of most of his symphonies composed since then. (Symphony 8 and Das Lied von der Erde being obvious exceptions.)
As a result, there wasn't much for me to base this essay on with regards to my original plan. Instead I started looking at what part of Gustav's output is attributed to the couple's life in general, and found a bit more. On the whole, though, I found that he didn't seem to let everyday concerns leave a mark on his compositions – besides unconfirmed rumours about the Eighth Symphony and the adagietto from the Fifth, there is really nothing of note related to Alma before the sketches for the Tenth Symphony.
I also found it relevant to relate some anecdotes regarding his manner as a conductor. It seems as if there was little that separated Gustav Mahler the husband from Gustav Mahler the conductor.