Letters to His Wife
Edited by Henry-Louis de La Grange, Knud Martner, Günther Weiss
Translated by Antony Beaumont
"Gustav Mahler and Alma Maria Schindler were married in . . . 1902. The bride was twenty-one and a half years old, her groom a few months short of forty-two. Apart from their substantial age difference, it seems to have been the very disparity of their intellectual and social backgrounds that drew them together. Mahler was attracted to Alma by her beauty, her alert mind and emotional intensity. Though aware that he possessed by far the broader outlook, he trusted in Alma's ability and willingness to learn from him."—from the Introduction
"Once the stiffness of unfamiliarity has been softened by a few months of marriage, Mahler's style of correspondence with Alma is generally simple, direct, and astonishingly down-to-earth. In a manner akin to that of his musical style, he spikes his language with witticisms and double-entendres, colloquialisms and quotations from librettos and classical works of literature."—from the Preface
This profusely illustrated collection of Gustav Mahler's letters to his wife Alma is more comprehensive than any previous edition; it contains 350 letters, 188 of them until now unpublished. Since 1995, when the German edition of this book was first published, two events have served to expand its horizons: the publication in 1997 of the complete text of Alma's early diaries, dating from January 1898 to March 1902, and the publication in 2003 of a catalogue of all Mahler letters acquired from the Moldenhauer Archives. With the aid of this new material, the editors were also able to revise the dates assigned to many of the letters. Commentaries and annotations throughout the book have been corrected and expanded annotations included. The editors' introduction provides a biographical context for the correspondence that follows.