“Mahler is certainly the greatest symphonist ever”
Do you remember the first time you heard Mahler’s music?
Eschenbach: Mahler wasn’t very popular in Germany during my childhood, for obvious reasons; he was banned during the Hitler years. Only slowly did Mahler symphonies return to concert programmes. I was living in the country, in Schleswig-Holstein, so I didn’t have many opportunities to go to concerts anyway, but I remember listening to Mahler records. There was a very famous actor at the time, Gustaf Gründgens, whom I knew, and he introduced me in 1961 to the 2nd Symphony. It’s very interesting that it was him.