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6 Sidesplitting Caricatures of Mahler Conducting

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Gustav Mahler, like many composers, wore many hats in order to make a living. Conducting was one of Mahler’s primary sources of income early in his career, and he quickly became known for his autocratic and often idiosyncratic style. For anyone who has performed Mahler’s music, his close attention to detail is apparent in the many specific expressive markings he includes in his scores. These 6 sidesplitting characters of Mahler conducting reveal that he was just as specific and demanding behind the podium.

 

Zasche-Theo_Gustav-Mahler-1906 - Theo Zasche «Gustav Mahler dirige su Sinfonía n.º 1 en re mayor»

Theo Zasche’s “Gustav Mahler Conducting his Symphony No. 1 in D Major”

 

Gustav_Mahler_silhouette_Otto_Böhler

Otto Böhler’s “Shadow Pictures” of Mahler at the podium

 

Mahler_conducting_caricature -Hans Schliessmann (1852–1920) - Caricature drawings satirising the conducting style of Gustav Mahler when he was director of the Vienna State Opera, 1897-1907

Hans Schliessmann’s Caricature of Mahler conducting the Vienna State Opera

 

mahler-caricature-4

Mahler Conducting an Opera, with total disregard for what the press thinks about him

 

mahlercartoon-1907

“I have forgotten the horn! Now I can really write a Symphony.”

 

1067_Mahler989764

Once he remembered the horn, he used it in grand fashion!

  • Ann Raven

    Love these! Thanks. I have seen other conductors going through the same gesticulations. Love to watch them.

  • Gilbert Kirk

    Great to see the humanity in Mahler. Drawing back the veil of mysticism that his compositions put him in.