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Scholarly Journeys Toward Gustav Mahler – Essays in Honour of Henry-Louis de La Grange for his 90th Birthday

Edited By Paul-André Bempéchat

This collection of essays forms the second Festschrift to honour the dean of Gustav Mahler research, Henry-Louis de La Grange, on the occasion of his ninetieth birthday. It includes vibrant, new historical, theoretical, and aesthetic research on the complex mind which produced among the best-loved orchestral works and songs of Western classical music.
Henry-Louis de La Grange's passion and tireless devotion to Gustav Mahler began when he first heard his Ninth Symphony conducted by Bruno Walter at Carnegie Hall in New York. He went on to plumb the depths of this composer's mind and soul and to explore every facet of his existence.
Among the many honours he has gleaned since the publication of the first Festschrift, Neue Mahleriana (Lang, 1997), Henry-Louis de La Grange has been named Professor by the Government of Austria (1998) and Officier de l'Ordre de la Légion d'honneur (2006). He has also been awarded Bard College's Charles Flint Kellogg Award in Arts and Letters, the Österreichisches Ehrenkreuz für Wissenschaft und Kunst, 1. Klasse (2010), the Gold Medal of the Internationale Gustav Mahler Gesellschaft (2010), and an honourary doctorate from The Juilliard School (2010). As another everlasting tribute, the American film director Jason Starr released his documentary film, For the Love of Mahler: The Inspired Life of Henry-Louis de La Grange, in 2015.
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The Two Gustavs: Klimt, Mahler, and Vienna’s Golden Decade, 1897–1907


The Two Gustavs

Klimt, Mahler, and Vienna’s Golden Decade, 1897–1907


The ten years spanning 1897 to 1907 comprised in many respects Vienna’s golden decade, as nineteenth-century Alt Wien metamorphosed into twentieth-century Neu Wien. The decade commenced dramatically with the 3 April 1897 founding of the city’s breakaway artists’ association, the Secession, and a thirty-four-year-old Gustav Klimt—Vienna’s most renowned Art Nouveau painter—as its first president. Five days later, Gustav Mahler—his reputation as formidable conductor preceding him—arrived in Vienna, aged thirty-six, as new director of the Imperial and Royal Court Opera. The glittering decade of far-reaching change concluded with Klimt’s defiant exhibition of his three controversial allegories, Philosophy, Medicine, and Jurisprudence, at private galleries in Vienna and Berlin rather than at the Secession from which he himself had seceded two years earlier. And in December of 1907, plagued by nonstop intrigue and hostile, as well as anti-Semitic press reviews, Mahler departed the Vienna Opera to become director of New York’s Metropolitan Opera. In the meantime, a host of revelatory events illumined the cultural and political forces at work in Austria. The careers of Klimt and Mahler were touched by these forces in astonishingly parallel ways and both men were part of a stellar cast of characters—from Alma Schindler to Sigmund Freud—that moved inexorably across the revolving stage of Kaiser Franz Josef’s rapidly changing Vienna. This essay examines those forces and the events that touched the lives of...

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