The first movement of the Fifth Symphony by G. Mahler for the author's birthday

For a whole generation, Mahler was more than just a musician, maestro, conductor, more than just an artist –
his creative activity was the most unforgettable experience of my youth.

Stefan Zweig

Gustav Mahler is the Austrian composer, operatic and symphonic conductor. One of the greatest symphonists of the 19th and 20th centuries. 
Gustav Mahler was famous first as one of the greatest conductors of his time, a representative of the so-called "post-Wagner five". Mahler-composer had relatively tiny number of loyal admirers during his lifetime, and only half a century after his death, he received real recognition as one of the greatest symphonists of the 20th century. Mahler's work, which became a kind of bridge between the late Austro-German romanticism of the 19th century and the modernism of the early 20th century, influenced many composers, including such different ones as representatives of the New Vienna School, on the one hand, Dmitri Shostakovich and Benjamin Britten – on the other one.

... The presentment  of music – is a person in all his manifestations
(that is, a feeling, thinking, breathing, suffering human being)
Gustav Mahler

Mahler's legacy as a composer, relatively small and almost entirely comprised of songs and symphonies, has become ingrained in the concert repertoire over the past half century; for several decades, Mahler has been one of the most performed composers.

At the same time, Mahler was by no means a forgotten composer: worshippers-conductors - Bruno Walter, Otto Klemperer, Oscar Fried, Carl Schuricht and many others - constantly included his works in their concert programs, overcoming the resistance of concert organizations and conservative criticism. Expelled from Europe during World War II, Mahler's music found refuge in the United States, where many German and Austrian conductors emigrated. After the war, it returned to Europe with the emigrants. By the beginning of the 50s, there were already fifteen monographs devoted to the composer's work; dozens of recordings of his works were made: conductors of the next generation have already joined the army of his longtime admirers. Finally, in 1955, the International Society of Gustav Mahler was created in Vienna to study and promote his creative heritage, and in the next few years a number of similar societies, national and regional, were formed.

The cinema sector contributed to the popularization of the personality of the composer as well - films “Mahler” by Ken Russell and “Death in Venice” by Luchino Visconti, which were imbued with his music and caused the ambiguous reaction among experts.

Rare recording is presented in our Sound Librarythe first movement of the Fifth Symphony by G. Mahlerperformed by the author, digitized from the paper music roll "Welte-Mignon” on the Player piano "Berdux Welte Piano", Valentin Berdux Pianofortefabrik, M. Welte & Söhne G.m.b.H., 1912.