“With Mahler you have to give everything”
Do you remember the first time you heard Mahler’s music?
Jansons: I can’t remember the year exactly. I am not so young anymore that I can remember so many years ago [laughs]. I think it was approximately the end of the 50s or the beginning of the 60s, something like that, so I was probably around 16-18 years old. I only remember that the first time I heard Mahler I was so impressed, it was like I was in heaven. Even though I was very young – I think I was still studying at the music school or possibly already at the conservatory, I can’t say exactly – but it made such a big impression on me; I was absolutely in heaven. And I understood that he was this genius, this great composer, and I suppose that when you are young in some ways you always think, ‘that’s my composer’.