Few composers since the mid-twentieth century have escaped Mahler's influence. This book is the first discussion of Mahler's ten completed symphonies to offer music lovers a comprehensive overview of the music as it strikes today's listeners.
The book caters to the novice, as well as the expert, as David Hurwitz describes what the listener will hear, section by section. He explains how each work is arranged, how the various parts relate to one another, and how one work leads to the next. The emphasis throughout is on the experience of listening, and how each symphony embodies Mahler's dictum that the symphony 'must embrace the world. It must contain everything'.
Hurwitz describes the emotional extravagance that lies at the root of Mahler's popularity, the consistency of his symphonic thinking, and his dazzling and revolutionary use of orchestral instruments to create an expressive musical language that is varied in content and immediate in impact.