How One Man and Ten Symphonies Changed Our World
By Norman Lebrecht
(Anchor, Paperback, 9781400096572, 336pp.)
Publication Date: November 1, 2011
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Why Mahler? Why does his music affect us in the way it does?
Norman Lebrecht, one of the world’s most widely read cultural commentators, has been wrestling obsessively with Mahler for half his life. Following Mahler’s every footstep from birthplace to grave, scrutinizing his manuscripts, talking to those who knew him, Lebrecht constructs a compelling new portrait of Mahler as a man who lived determinedly outside his own times. Mahler was—along with Picasso, Einstein, Freud, Kafka, and Joyce—a maker of our modern world. Why Mahler? is a book that shows how music can change our lives.
Norman Lebrecht has written several best-selling works of nonfiction, including The Maestro Myth and Who Killed Classical Music? He is also the award-winning author of the novels The Song of Names and The Game of Opposites. He writes regularly for Bloomberg.com and The Wall Street Journal, and he presents The Lebrecht Interview series on BBC Radio 3 and The Record Doctor on WNYC. He lives in London.
“A brisk, engaging journey through the life of a fascinating and enormously influential artist.”
—Kansas City Star
“Very enjoyable to read, gossipy as well as learned, and it makes the man come to life.”
“Lebrecht’s book brings Mahler scholarship into to the present by including interviews with conductors, visits to sites with Mahler connections and an excellent annotated discography.”
“Readers of Why Mahler? will be grateful to Lebrecht for his enthusiasm and for his highly personal cultural history.”
—The Wall Street Journal
“As a short introduction to the meaning of Mahler, this sympathetic biography will do very well.”
—The Times (London)
“We could not put the book down. Mahler is boss.”