L’instrument dont jouait l’univers

GARZIA Benjamin
ISBN 978-2-917992-21-0


Why write a book about Gustav Mahler in 2016?

Aren’t the biographical works that have been published for decades enough for anyone wanting answers? Of course they are! Scientific answers on dates, historical elements or testimonies. But what about the spiritual significance? For if ever there was a composer whose work poured out his whole soul, it’s Gustav Mahler. To embrace his legacy, then, we must venture inside him, where history can only support us, where words give way to the simple human emotions that one man can imagine for another. And that’s the choice we’ve made. To propose a new approach, at once rapid, direct and immersive. Mahler the legend has ousted Mahler the man, the simple, the fragile. Before becoming a musical hero, he was Gustav. Simply Gustav. A dreamy, stubborn little boy, battered by life and clinging to an ideal, an artistic dream through which he hoped to open the gates to eternal life.

Writing a book in 2016 means getting as close as possible to this little boy, observing him even more than the giant he was to become. To immerse the reader in his direct environment, rather than in the historical context of his time. It also means trying to answer some intimate questions. How did Gustav become Mahler? How did the two of them live together during their short lives? Why does his music move us so much, speak to us so much, even when he has deliberately deprived it of words?

To answer these questions, we need to get as close to him as possible. To feel his toddler emotions, as time goes by in his childhood home, where grief and mourning are king. You have to be caught up with him in the fever of his adolescence, where misery and frustration pester him, or climb the steps of opera houses, from a dark, tiny wooden theater in the Tyrol to the Metropolitan Opera in New York, not forgetting the prestigious Hofoper, Vienna’s court opera house. You also have to accept his weaknesses, his angers and his hasty judgments, because the most magical thing about a hero is that he’s just a human being to begin with.



Additional information

Weight0,790 kg
Dimensions16 × 23 × 2,6 cm