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Volume three of a four-volume life, this massive book is a must for all those wishing to become more aware of the life behind the music. The detail is astounding. But there are three caveats.

Firstly, the book often reads like a day-by-day diary but the chronology unfortunately is not always linear, which can lead to confusion and disappointment.

Secondly, there is a great deal given over to newspaper reviews of performances. This often burdens the text and they would far better be collected as one of the appendices.

Thirdly, Grange's dedication to Mahler often leads him to lose objectivity. One often is left with the distasteful impression that the man could do no wrong and that all his critics were simply jealous, anti-semitic, imbeciles or all three. Perhaps, sometimes, the critics were right!

Having said that, there is much to praise, and the appendices contain vital and comprehensive material concerning the composing and performance of the 6th, 7th and 8th symphonies. The book is worth its (heavy) weight purely for this.
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on 19 May 2001
This is without doubt the most complete and informative book on Gustav Mahler I have ever read. It not only gives insight into the composers daily life but reads as dairy of his life discovered a century later. We learn about the composer, the conductor and the man and the quest to be accepted as an artist. I can't wait to read the final volume in this fascinating series. Recommeded reading for all interested in the genius Gustav Mahler.
0Comment4 of 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse