Mahler's Vienna



Katie Derham presents a week focusing on music in Gustav Klimt and Gustav Mahler's Vienna, including works Mahler himself championed and music by his friends and contemporaries.

On a dark winter's morning in December 1907 a crowd of two hundred admirers gathered together at Vienna's railway station to say a fond farewell to the recently deposed director of the Court Opera. As Gustav Mahler set off for his fateful journey to New York, the notoriously taciturn Gustav Klimt quoted Goethe's Faust: 'Vorbei,' he uttered: 'It's over.' Mahler and Klimt, born two years, probably did not know one another well until about 1902 but in their respective fields, they seemed to epitomise fin de siecle Vienna. Klimt depicted Mahler as an armoured knight in his famous Beethoven Frieze and though they may not have been close friends, they were, nontheless, united by an almost crusading artistic zeal - not to mention their love for Alma, the charming, tentacular Muse of the Secession. Famously, Alma went on to love or marry Mahler, Kokoshka, Walter Gropius and many others, but she always maintained that: "It was to Gustav Klimt that I owed many tears, but also my awakening.' Was Alma's teenage kiss with Klimt the seminal moment of the Viennese Secession?

Wagner: Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan and Isolde

New York Philharmonic

Alan Gilbert, conductor


Johann Strauss II (arr. Schoenberg):

Emperor Waltz, op. 437

Ensemble led by Renaud Capuçon

Schoenberg: Verklärte Nacht, op. 4

Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

James Judd, conductor


Mahler (arr. Stein for chamber ensemble): Symphony No. 4

Christiane Karg, soprano


Schoenberg: Chamber Symphony No. 1, op. 9

Lucerne Festival Orchestra Ensemble

Daniel Harding, conductor.


Katie Derham continues her exploration of Mahler's Vienna with music Mahler conducted and music by his contemporaries


The Mermaid

Dresden Staatskapelle

Juraj Valcuha, conductor


Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 in E flat, op. 55 ('Eroica')

Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra

Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor

Strauss: Ein Heldenleben

Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra

Andris Nelsons, conductor.


Katie Derham continues her exploration of Klimt's Vienna with a performance of Mahler's last completed symphony, played by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Simon Rattle.

Mahler: Symphony No. 9

Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra

Simon Rattle, conductor.

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Katie Derham ends her week in Mahler's Vienna with more music Mahler conducted and music by composers he influenced.

Berg: Violin Concerto

Isabelle Faust, violin

Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra

Claudio Abbado, conductor


Berg: Altenberg Lieder, op. 4

Anne Sofie von Otter, mezzo-soprano

Schumann: Symphony No. 2 in C, op. 61


Zemlinsky: Lyric Symphony, op. 18

Christine Schäfer, soprano

James Johnson, bass-baritone

San Francisco Symphony

Christoph Eschenbach, conductor.