Another offering of scene in my own fiction:
Gustav Mahler’s name has long been associated with Vienna. Most know the story of his turbulent years as director of the Court Opera from 1897 to 1907.
Indeed, the early years of his directorship are, in part, the subject of my novel, Requiem in Vienna. Court intrigues, recalcitrant singers who balked at Mahler’s perfectionism, the omnipresent anti-Semitism in Central Europe of the day, musical prejudices, and professional jealousies–all these deviled Mahler’s years in the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. But there were compensations, as well: Mahler wrote some of his most significant works in the summers of these years; he married the volatile Viennese, Alma Schindler, daughter of landscape painter Emil Schindler and stepdaughter to Secessionist painter Carl Moll and began a family; he rose internationally in stature as a conductor of note.
What is less well known is that this was actually Mahler’s second sojourn in Vienna. (more…)