“Mahler should be performed simply and humbly”
Do you remember the first time you heard Mahler’s music?
Gatti: I was nine or ten when I began to study music. And of course the names familiar to me were Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin, Rossini, Verdi – but not Mahler, not at all. Once I heard my father say: “Mahler, Mahler – there is a symphony of Mahler on the radio”, but I was unimpressed. Later on, when I was growing up – I was 12 or 13 – almost every evening he would bring home a new record. They covered the entire repertoire – from Mozart to Stravinsky – and that was how he tried to introduce me to the orchestral sound. I remember he brought Mahler’s 1st, conducted by Bruno Walter, so the first time I listened to his music was with my father in our sitting room – at least 20 minutes of the 1st Symphony. And there I was, listening, without any particular emotion – but subconsciously I was absorbing his style.