Mahler spent the summers of the years 1893, 1894, 1895
and 1896 with his younger sisters Justine and Ema, his
brother Otto and Mrs Nathalie Bauer-Lechner. They took
on five rooms with seperate kitchen and spacious terraces
which gave them the feeling as if they were in a private
house. Mahler earned later the title "vacation-composer"
as he was certainly unable to indulge in major symphonic
work during the theater season. At Steinbach Mahler stood
up early in the morning and started to work at his room.
After dinner and midday nap they often took a walk or
ride their bicycles. Moreover Mahler visited regularly
friends at Unterrach, Nußdorf or Seewalchen by taking
the ship. At each of his promenades he wrote down new
ideas and impressions in his small music book which he
got directly from the nature.
Although Mahler had an extrmely
prolific summer, he still was not content with his working
conditions as tourist and guests of the inn often disturbed
his concentration and Mahler needed quiet and seclusion
when he was listening to the musical ideas in his mind.
Thus Mahler hit upon the obvious idea of having a cottage
built at the board of the lake. He was convinced to find
there the quiet and seclusion he needed for composing.
The following three summers the small composing cottage
was an ideal surrounding for composing. Here Mahler incorporated
the meadow with the flowers situated between the lake
and the inn, the animals at the forest, the forbidding
rocky walls of the Höllengebirge, in short, the entire
landscape around the Attersee, into his music.
On June 27th 1896, Mahler said to
Nathalie Bauer-Lechner:"I never thought I`d put the
Höllengebirge into my pocket! Now I`ve really made
all of Steinbach my own."
On a walk with his friend Bruno
Walter at Steinbach, Mahler said: "No need to look
there any more - that`s all been used up and set to music
All these statements demonstrate
Mahler`s close personal attachment to the Attersee landscape.
The inn`s new tenants caused so many problems, that Mahler
decided with a heavy heart not to return to his affable
Steinbach. He left the Attersee at the end of August 1896
Link to the Hotel-Attersee "Foettinger" where Gustav Mahler lived
The best Hotels at the Attersee-Lake listed on www.attersee-hotels.at