“[Poetry] that distinguishes itself considerably from any other type of ‘literary poetry’
and could almost more aptly be characterized as nature and life than art.”
- Mahler on the folk poetry collection Des Knaben Wunderhorn
Early in his life, Mahler discovered Des Knaben Wunderhorn, a collection of folk poetry that exerted a considerable influence on his vocal works for nearly 20 years. What was his fascination with this relatively old book (1806)? Why did this urbane, abundantly complex composer seek out the art of the people? The Festival program took a closer look at this literary work and the folk art of the turn of the century, thereby illuminating both Mahler’s creative output and his time.
Mahler and Steinbach am Attersee
Gustav Mahler arrived in Steinbach am Attersee for the first time in the summer of 1893.
The breathtaking surroundings worked wonders for Mahler’s creativity, inspiring half a dozen songs and most of two enormous symphonies (2nd and 3rd) composed over the course of four summers (through 1896) in a specially built hut at the water‘s edge.
Today the "Komponierhäuschen", as it is known in German, has become a point of attraction for Mahler lovers all over the world.
Gustav Mahler Festival Steinbach
The Gustav Mahler Festival in Steinbach is an annual celebration held on the composer’s birthday (7 July) that presents musical gems as well as cultural and historical insights into this unique historical place. The program purposefully sets aside time for all participants to interact with one another and to enjoy the astounding natural setting in order to celebrate the many facets of Mahler’s inspiration.