Quotes by Gustav Mahler

Discipline, work. Work, discipline.
- Gustav Mahler
With the coming of spring, I am calm again.
- Gustav Mahler
An operetta is simply a small and gay opera.
- Gustav Mahler
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The real art of conducting consists in transitions.
- Gustav Mahler
Even if people censure me, they should do so hat in hand.
- Gustav Mahler
It is easier to achieve a desired result in short pieces.
- Gustav Mahler
A symphony must be like the world. It must contain everything.
- Gustav Mahler
Melodic invention is one of the surest signs of a divine gift.
- Gustav Mahler
The call of love sounds very hollow among these immobile rocks.
- Gustav Mahler
To judge a composer's work, one must consider it as a whole.
- Gustav Mahler
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Destiny smiles upon me but without making me the least bit happier.
- Gustav Mahler
Don't bother looking at the view - I have already composed it.
- Gustav Mahler
The spirit can assert itself only through the medium of clear form.
- Gustav Mahler
If you think you're boring your audience, go slower not faster.
- Gustav Mahler
I am hitting my head against the walls, but the walls are giving way.
- Gustav Mahler
If I weren't the way I am, I shouldn't write my symphonies.
- Gustav Mahler
Behind me the branches of a wasted and sterile existence are cracking.
- Gustav Mahler
All that is not perfect down to the smallest detail is doomed to perish.
- Gustav Mahler
I beg of you... never assume an inner or an outer pose, never a disguise.
- Gustav Mahler
I live like a Hottentot. I cannot exchange one sensible word with anyone.
- Gustav Mahler
Fortunately, something always remains to be harvested. So let us not be idle.
- Gustav Mahler
You must renounce all superficiality, all convention, all vanity and delusion.
- Gustav Mahler
What I wanted and what I visualized while composing has not always been realized.
- Gustav Mahler
It should be one's sole endeavor to see everything afresh and create it anew.
- Gustav Mahler
There is a world of difference between a Mahler eighth note and a normal eighth note.
- Gustav Mahler
It is strange how one feels drawn forward without knowing at first where one is going.
- Gustav Mahler
The impressions of the spriritual experiences gave my future life its form and content.
- Gustav Mahler
I hope you will no longer accuse me of a lack of delicacy. as I now count on your understanding.
- 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
I don't let myself get carried away by my own ideas - I abandon 19 out of 20 of them every day.
- 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
In the theatrical works we love and admire the most, the ending of the drama generally takes place offstage.
- 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
I was a crazy young man who let himself be blinded by his passions and obeyed only the impulses of the moment.
- Gustav Mahler
I have become a different person. I don't know whether this person is better, he certainly is not happier.
- 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
The further the music develops, the more complex the apparatus used by the composer to express his thoughts becomes.
- 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
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
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
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
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
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