Happy 160th Birthday to Gustav Mahler!⠀

Born in Bohemia (Czech Republic), the young Mahler did not have a happy childhood, filled with poverty, domestic violence, and many deaths - including the loss of his beloved younger brother.

Mahler was known as an excellent conductor during his lifetime having appointed as the director of Vienna Court Opera, Metropolitan Opera, and the New York Philharmonic. But it was not until 1960s when Leonard Bernstein popularized and make Mahler's symphonies into main repertoires for orchestras.⠀

Gustav Mahler was married to Alma Schindler, the daughter of famous painter Emil Jakob Schindler. The then 23 year old Alma was told to give up her music studies in order to support the 42 year old Mahler, because there can only be one composer in the family, according to him. She then became relentless.

Due to the turmoil of his marriage and for fear of losing Alma, Mahler seek to meet with Sigmund Freud (the father of psychoanalysis). At the time, Alma had started a relationship with Walter Gropius, a German architect and founder of the Bauhaus School.

Though their marriage was far from perfect, Mahler wrote the melodious Adagietto of Symphony no. 5 as a love letter, a musical portrait of her in Symphony no. 6 / Movt. 1, and dedicated Symphony no. 8 (Symphony of a Thousand) - all for Alma.

After the death of his first daughter, Mahler learned that his heart was defective, an illness that later became fatal when combined with other complications. After a period of coma, Mahler died on May 18, in Paris.

#LISTEN to Mahler | Symphony No. 5 - Adagietto

This dreamy and tender music is the ultimate love declaration, written by Gustav Mahler for the young Viennese beauty Alma Schindler. The score calls for strings and harp in the key of F (oftentimes associated with pastoral theme), which creates the intimacy mood between them.

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