“I began to conduct Mahler out of spite”
Do you remember the first time you heard Mahler’s music?
Barenboim: Not exactly. I remember playing the songs with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau in the early 70s, when we did the Wunderhorn-Lieder, Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen [Songs of a Wayfarer] and the Rückert-Lieder: all except the Kindertotenlieder [Songs on the Death of Children] because they were not originally written for piano. The first Mahler symphony I conducted was the 5th, in 1973. I came quite late to Mahler.