The Wagner Journal

Anna Stoll Knecht, Mahler’s ‘Parsifal’

Anna Stoll Knecht, Mahler’s ‘Parsifal’

Regular price £3.00 GBP
Regular price Sale price £3.00 GBP
Sale Sold out
Taxes included.
Who's Buying?

November 2017, Volume 11, Number 3, 4–26.

February 1883, Olmütz, Moravia. Jacques Manheit, singer of the municipal theatre, reports the following:

One day I found Mahler in the café, utterly self-absorbed. When I asked why he was so sad, he replied that he had received bad news from home, his father was ill. Next morning I saw a man running demented, weeping loudly, through the streets. With some difficulty I recognized Mahler. Remembering the previous day’s events, I asked anxiously, ‘in heaven’s name, has something happened to your father?’ ‘Worse, worse, much worse,’ howled Mahler. ‘The worst has happened. The Master has died!’ It was 13 February 1883, Richard Wagner had been taken from us. It was impossible to talk to Mahler for days afterwards. He came to rehearsals and performances, but remained inaccessible to everyone for a long time. 

Richard Wagner’s death was worse for Gustav Mahler than the prospect of losing his own father, this story tells us. Why was Wagner’s death such a tragedy for Mahler? What kind of relationship had Mahler sustained with Wagner which could justify such despair? What did Mahler lose with Wagner’s death? And what did he gain?

View full details