"In a hundred-year period, a handful of men and women changed the way we see the world. Many of them are well known -- Marx, Freud, Proust, Einstein, Kafka. Others have vanished from collective memory despite their enduring importance in our daily lives. Without Karl Landsteiner, for instance, there would be no blood transfusions or major surgery. Without Paul Ehrlich, no chemotherapy. Without Siegfried Marcus, no motor car. Without Rosalind Franklin,...
Why Mahler? Why does his music affect us in the way it does? Norman Lebrecht, one of the world's most widely read cultural commentators, has been wrestling obsessively with Mahler for half his life. Pacing out his every footstep from birthplace to grave, scrutinizing his manuscripts, talking to those who knew him, Lebrecht constructs a complelling new portrait of Mahler as a man who lived determinedly outside his own times. Mahler was -- along...