The Classical Music Minute

Alma Mahler, Austrian Composer & Socialite

December 05, 2022 Steven Hobé, Composer & Host Season 1 Episode 89
The Classical Music Minute
Alma Mahler, Austrian Composer & Socialite
Show Notes Transcript

Alma Mahler was an Austrian composer and socialite. First, wife to Gustav Mahler and then after his death re-marrying twice. Take a minute to get the scoop!

Here’s a lovely recording of her Laue Sommernacht (mild Summer Night) for Mezzo & Piano ℅ YouTube

Fun Fact
In 1938, after the Anschluss, Werfel and Alma were forced to flee Austria as it was unsafe for Jews. Eventually the couple settled in Los Angeles. In later years, her salon became part of the artistic scene, first in Vienna, then in Los Angeles and in New York.

About Steven, Host
Steven is a Canadian composer living in Toronto. He creates a range of works, with an emphasis on the short-form genre—his muse being to offer the listener both the darker and more satiric shades of human existence. If you're interested, please check out his website for more. Member of the Canadian League Of Composers.

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A Note To Music Students et al.
All recordings and sheet music are available on my site. I encourage you to take a look and play through some. Give me a shout if you have any questions.

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Alma Mahler was an Austrian composer and socialite. She composed nearly fifty songs for voice and piano, and works in other genres as well. 
She was the wife of composer Gustav Mahler, who was 23 years her senior. At the time, Gustav showed little interest in her composition, and would prefer she just focus on being a housewife. As a result, she fell into a depression from being artistically stifled. 
She soon sought solace elsewhere when she met the young architect Walter Gropius. This was a turning point. Gustav spoke with Sigmund Freud about his wife’s depression and thus began to take a serious interest in Alma's musical compositions, regretting his earlier dismissive attitude. 
Gustav edited some of her songs and under his guidance, Alma prepared five of her songs for publication. But he soon died after this attempted reconciliation in 1911. Alma went on to marry Walter Gropius. She then had another affair with playwright and poet, Franz Werfel whom she subsequently married.