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A collection of quotes and sayings by Gustav Mahler on tradition, symphony, facts, music, delusion, calm, trying, composition, love, life, failure, future and audience.

48 Great Quotes By Gustav Mahler On Love, Music, Life And More

Famous As: Composer
Born On: July 7, 1860
Died On: May 18, 1911
Born In: Kaliste, Bohemia (now Czech Republic)
Died At Age: 50
Gustav Mahler was a celebrated Austrian romantic composer. He was also one of the leading conductors of his generation. He is accredited for acting as a bridge as a composer between modernism of the early 20th century and Austro-German tradition of the 19th century. He is renowned as one of the most influential and prominent symphonic composers of his time. His creations primarily comprised of symphonic and song cycles that postulated complex orchestral scores. He is also credited with introducing a number of distinctive styles as a composer which in turn laid an intense influence on Viennese composers. Here is a list of quotable quotations and sayings by the distinguished composer which have been extracted from his works, thoughts, compositions and life. Go through the corpus of quotes and thoughts by Gustav Mahler which are till date quoted extensively.
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Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire.

Gustav Mahler

If a composer could say what he had to say in words he would not bother trying to say it in music.

Gustav Mahler

A symphony must be like the world. It must contain everything.

Gustav Mahler

What is best in music is not to be found in the notes.

Gustav Mahler

It's not just a question of conquering a summit previously unknown, but of tracing, step by step, a new pathway to it.

Gustav Mahler

I am hitting my head against the walls, but the walls are giving way.

Gustav Mahler

But it's peculiar, as soon as I am in the midst of nature and by myself, everything that is base and trivial vanishes without trace. On such days nothing scares me; and this helps me again and again.

Gustav Mahler

The call of love sounds very hollow among these immobile rocks.

Gustav Mahler

The point is not to take the world's opinion as a guiding star but to go one's way in life and working unerringly, neither depressed by failure nor seduced by applause.

Gustav Mahler

With the coming of spring, I am calm again.

Gustav Mahler

When I have reached a summit, I leave it with great reluctance, unless it is to reach for another, higher one.

Gustav Mahler

Don't bother looking at the view - I have already composed it.

Gustav Mahler

The impressions of the spriritual experiences gave my future life its form and content.

Gustav Mahler

I am thrice homeless, as a native of Bohemia in Austria, as an Austrian among Germans, and as a Jew throughout the world. Everywhere an intruder, never welcomed.

Gustav Mahler

Man lives in greatest pain

Gustav Mahler

You must renounce all superficiality, all convention, all vanity and delusion.

Gustav Mahler

I beg of you... never assume an inner or an outer pose, never a disguise.

Gustav Mahler

The longer you live and the more you learn, the more clearly you will feel the difference between the few men who are truly great and the mere virtuosi.

Gustav Mahler

What I wanted and what I visualized while composing has not always been realized.

Gustav Mahler

To judge a composer's work, one must consider it as a whole.

Gustav Mahler

The real art of conducting consists in transitions.

Gustav Mahler

The further the music develops, the more complex the apparatus used by the composer to express his thoughts becomes.

Gustav Mahler

Melodic invention is one of the surest signs of a divine gift.

Gustav Mahler

It should be one's sole endeavor to see everything afresh and create it anew.

Gustav Mahler

It is easier to achieve a desired result in short pieces.

Gustav Mahler

In the theatrical works we love and admire the most, the ending of the drama generally takes place offstage.

Gustav Mahler

If I weren't the way I am, I shouldn't write my symphonies.

Gustav Mahler

I hope you will no longer accuse me of a lack of delicacy. as I now count on your understanding.

Gustav Mahler

I don't let myself get carried away by my own ideas - I abandon 19 out of 20 of them every day.

Gustav Mahler

Beauty and fullness of tone can be achieved by having the whole orchestra play with high clarinets and a carefully selected number of piccolos.

Gustav Mahler

An operetta is simply a small and gay opera.

Gustav Mahler

I live like a Hottentot. I cannot exchange one sensible word with anyone.

Gustav Mahler

I have become a different person. I don't know whether this person is better, he certainly is not happier.

Gustav Mahler

Even if people censure me, they should do so hat in hand.

Gustav Mahler

Destiny smiles upon me but without making me the least bit happier.

Gustav Mahler

I also had a brother who was like me a musician and a composer. A man of great talent, far more gifted than I. He died very young... he killed himself in the prime of his life.

Gustav Mahler

Discipline, work. Work, discipline.

Gustav Mahler

Behind me the branches of a wasted and sterile existence are cracking.

Gustav Mahler

If you think you're boring your audience, go slower not faster.

Gustav Mahler

The spirit can assert itself only through the medium of clear form.

Gustav Mahler

Spring won't let me stay in this house any longer! I must get out and breathe the air deeply again.

Gustav Mahler

It is strange how one feels drawn forward without knowing at first where one is going.

Gustav Mahler

There is a world of difference between a Mahler eighth note and a normal eighth note.

Gustav Mahler

Fortunately, something always remains to be harvested. So let us not be idle.

Gustav Mahler

Never let oneself be guided by the opinion of one's contemporaries. Continue steadfastly on one's way.

Gustav Mahler

In its beginnings, music was merely chamber music, meant to be listened to in a small space by a small audience.

Gustav Mahler

I was a crazy young man who let himself be blinded by his passions and obeyed only the impulses of the moment.

Gustav Mahler

All that is not perfect down to the smallest detail is doomed to perish.

Gustav Mahler