Tradition is not to preserve the ashes, but to pass on the fire.

— Gustav Mahler

The most beautiful Gustav Mahler quotes to discover and learn by heart

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

88

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

74

It is a funny thing, but when I am making music, all the answers I seek for in life seem to be there, in the music. Or rather, I should say, when I am making music, there are no questions and no need for answers.

62

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.

61

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

54

That which draws us by its mystical force;

what every created thing, even the very stones, feels with absolute certainty as the center of its being... is the force of love. Christians call this "eternal blessedness." It is a necessity of man for growth and joy.

42

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.

41

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

38

We all return. It is this certainty that gives meaning to life and it does not make the slightest difference whether or not in a later incarnation we remember the former life. What counts is not the individual and his comfort, but the great aspiration to the perfect and the pure which goes on in each incarnation.

36

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

34

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.

25

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

22

About Gustav Mahler

Quotes 62 sayings
Nationality Austrian
Profession Composer
Birthday July 7, 1860

Only when I experience do I compose - only when I compose do I experience.

19

With the coming of spring, I am calm again.

18

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

15

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

15

A true personality . . . is like a robust organism that, with unconscious sureness, seeks out and digests the nourishment appropriate to it and vigorously rejects that which is unsuitable.

15

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

13

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

12

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

12

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

10

Never let oneself be guided by the opinion of one's contemporaries.

Continue steadfastly on one's way.

10

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.

7

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

7

An operetta is simply a small and gay opera.

5

I don't choose what I compose. It chooses me.

5

Don't bother to look, I've composed all this already.

4

The real art of conducting consists in transitions.

4

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

4

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

3

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

3

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

3

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

3

It is always the same with me; only when I experience something do I compose, and only when composing do I experience! After all, a musician's nature can hardly be expressed in words.

2

Life's been nothing but paperwork.

2

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

1

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.

1

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

0

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

0

For the last month I have been a strict vegetarian.

The moral effects of this regime are immense, owing to the voluntary subjugation of the flesh and the resulting absence of desires. You will appreciate how full I am of this idea when I tell you that I expect it to work the regeneration of mankind. I advise you to change over to a natural way of life, with proper nourishment (wholemeal bread), and you will soon feel the benefit.

0

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

0

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

0

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

0

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

0

God can only be comprehended as Love.

0

Tradition is tending the flame, not worshiping the ashes.

0

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

0

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

0

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

0
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