Donald Macleod explores Mahler's youthful fascination with the anthology of German folk poetry, Des Knaben Wunderhorn.
Gustav Mahler rose from humble beginnings on the fringes of the Austro-Hungarian Empire to become one of the most powerful figures in the musical establishment. Nowadays his symphonies are almost guaranteed to fill concert halls, but during his lifetime Mahler made his name as a conductor.
Des Knaben Wunderhorn (The Youth's Magic Horn) was a major influence on Mahler's early songs and symphonies. Mahler loved its mixture of realism and fantasy, of the commonplace and the extraordinary, the tragic and the humorous.