My first connection with the music of Gustav Mahler was about 40 years ago, when I was a member of the Minneapolis Civic Symphony Orchestra, and we prepared Mahler’s First Symphony for one of our concerts.
Believe me when I say that repeated playing of this music certainly brought me closer to it. What followed, however, were many years during which I decided to research the life of this amazing composer. This led to an even deeper understanding of his music.
“For the Love of Mahler” takes us into the passionate world of author and musicologist Henry-Louis de La Grange, a charismatic 91 year old music historian who, since first hearing a Mahler symphony in 1945, devoted the rest of his life to researching every detail of the composer’s biography.
The film joins Henry-Louis on his annual migration from Marrakech to Paris and to the Italian Alps, while he busily works on revising his epic four-volume biography of Gustav Mahler. This film documentary shows how Mahler’s music inspired his life and the way Henry-Louis channelled an obsession into a lifetime of ground breaking discoveries.
Here is Leonard Bernstein, leading a complete performance of the Symphony number 3 by Gustav Mahler: