Gustav Mahler Quotes

Gustav Mahler was a Bohemian-born Austrian composer and conductor noted for his 10 symphonies and various songs with orchestra. His work is characterized as part of the Romanticism movement.

“Don’t bother looking at the view – I have already composed it.” – Gustav Mahler

“There is a world of difference between a Mahler eighth note and a normal eighth note.” – Gustav Mahler

“I was a crazy young man who let himself be blinded by his passions and obeyed only the impulses of the moment.” – Gustav Mahler

“It is always the same with me; only when I experience something do I compose, and only when composing do I experience! After all, a musician’s nature can hardly be expressed in words.” – Gustav Mahler

“The longer you live and the more you learn, the more clearly you will feel the difference between the few men who are truly great and the mere virtuosi.” – Gustav Mahler

“If I weren’t the way I am, I shouldn’t write my symphonies.” – Gustav Mahler

“When I have reached a summit, I leave it with great reluctance, unless it is to reach for another, higher one.” – Gustav Mahler

“I don’t let myself get carried away by my own ideas; I abandon 19 out of 20 of them every day.” – Gustav Mahler

“In its beginnings, music was merely chamber music, meant to be listened to in a small space by a small audience.” – Gustav Mahler

“Tradition is tending the flame, not worshiping the ashes.” – Gustav Mahler

“In Bach, the vital cells of music are united as the world is in God.” – Gustav Mahler

“Beauty and fullness of tone can be achieved by having the whole orchestra play with high clarinets and a carefully selected number of piccolos.” – Gustav Mahler

“In the theatrical works we love and admire the most, the ending of the drama generally takes place offstage.” – Gustav Mahler

“To write a symphony is, for me, to construct a world.” – Gustav Mahler

“It should be one’s sole endeavor to see everything afresh and create it anew.” – Gustav Mahler

“The real art of conducting consists in transitions.” – Gustav Mahler

“What is best in music is not to be found in the notes.” – Gustav Mahler

“The spirit can assert itself only through the medium of clear form.” – Gustav Mahler

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