Gustav Mahler (1860-1911)

Piano Quartet in A minor

"Nicht zu schnell" / (1876)
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On the basis of his early musical talent – in particular his promise as a pianist – Mahler was accepted into the Vienna Conservatory at the age of 15. Yet despite being awarded several prizes, it did not take long before Mahler decided against a career as a performer; he turned his attention instead to composing and later to conducting. It is here that Mahler found greatest reward in his own lifetime, becoming one of the most acclaimed conductors of his generation. 

Mahler continued to devote his spare time to composing, however, particularly the long summer vacations, and persisted even as his works received a lukewarm response. It was only towards the end of Mahler’s life that his symphonies began to draw more widespread admiration. His popularity has continued to grow, and Mahler is now widely regarded as a master of symphony and song. 

The few Mahler works that sit outside his main oeuvre continue to be less frequently performed, including this Piano Quartet in A minor, which although dating back to his student days, was not published until well after the composer’s death. More recently it has reached a wider audience, being used in the soundtrack to Martin Scorsese’s 2010 psychological thriller Shutter Island starring Leonardo Dicaprio. A live performance, however, of this neatly structured vintage Mahler continues to be a rare treat.

Ensemble

Maria Raspopova (piano) Ike See (violin) Neil Thompson (viola) and Teije Hylkema (cello)

Video Credits

Audio recording by ABC Classic FM
Omega Ensemble gratefully acknowledges their support
Don Bate - Senior Music Producer
Bruce Terry - Videographer