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

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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Natalie Bauer-Lechner’s “Mahleriana”: A Review of the Sources and the Passages on Brahms


Natalie Bauer-Lechner’s “Mahleriana”

A Review of the Sources and the Passages on Brahms*


Natalie Bauer-Lechner’s “Mahleriana” have long been fundamental to Mahler biography, as the magisterial work of Henry-Louis de La Grange readily attests. Bauer-Lechner’s model was Eckermann’s Conversations with Goethe, one of Mahler’s favorite books, and perhaps no chronicler of any other composer has so nearly approached the subtlety and detail of that famous paragon. But a variorum edition of Bauer-Lechner based on all surviving texts of her memoirs remains a desideratum that the present authors, in collaboration with Thomas Hampson (founder and president of the Hampsong Foundation), hope to provide. As a prelude to that challenging venture, this essay reviews the history of Bauer-Lechner’s “Mahleriana” and surveys all of the known sources, including the recently discovered “Brief über Mahlers Lieben an Hans Riehl” (Letter to Hans Riehl on Mahler’s loves) of 1917.

Following this, as a brief sample of the little- or unknown material in Bauer-Lechner’s recollections, we present the best available German texts, with English translations, of all the passages that concern Johannes Brahms, each preceded by a contextualizing introduction. The view of Brahms that emerges, although fragmentary, reveals Mahler’s ongoing ambivalence and vacillation of opinion about the legendary third “B” (with Bach and Beethoven), whose technique of developmental transformation in the Haydn Variations (Opus 56a) “has no equal, not even Beethoven,” but whose Third Symphony “remains beholden to this world and this...

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