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The Gustav Mahler Reading List

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Mad About Music host Gilbert Kaplan is a leading international authority on the music of Gustav Mahler. Kaplan created this annotated bibliography of works dedicated to Mahler's life and career.

The Gustav Mahler Reading List

Gustav Mahler by Deryck Cooke. Cambridge University Press, Great Britain, 1980.

The best introduction to Mahler’s symphonies and songs.


The Real Mahler by Jonathan Carr. Overlook, New York, 1997.

The finest short literary biography.


Why Mahler?: How One Man and Ten Symphonies Changed Our World by Norman Lebrecht. Random House, New York, future publication: October 2010.

A fascinating new biography.


Gustav Mahler: Memories and Letters. Alma Mahler. Sphere Books Ltd, London, 1990.

Mahler’s wife’s recollections.


Gustav Mahler: The Symphonies. Constantin Floros. Amadeus Press, Portland Oregon, 1993.

Outstanding analysis of Mahler’s music in layman’s terms.


Gustav Mahler. Henry-Louis de la Grange. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

The definitive book in four volumes. More than 4,000 pages.


Gustav Mahler. Donald Mitchell. Three volume set.

Superb musical analysis.

The Early Years. University of California Press, Berkeley/Los Angeles, 1975.

The Wunderhorn Years. University of California Press, Berkeley/Los Angeles, 1980.

Songs and Symphonies of Life and Death. Faber and Faber, London, 1985.


Mahler’s Concerts. Knud Martner. Kaplan Foundation and Overlook, New York, 2010.

A detailed history of Mahler as a conductor with information on more than 323 concerts.