“Mahler was like an earthquake for me.”
Do you remember the first time you heard Mahler’s music?
Welser-Möst: Yes, I do. It was the 1st Symphony; I must have been 10 or 11 years old. It was the student orchestra of the Wiener Musikhochschule [Vienna Academy of Music], at that time with Karl Österreicher. So that was quite some time ago.
At that age, everything was sort of new and I was not immediately drawn to Mahler in particular. The next experience with Mahler that I remember was the 5th with Sir Georg Solti and that was like an earthquake for me. That I remember very well. I think I was about 15. And from that moment on I took a real interest in Mahler’s music.