Wednesday, May 28, 2008


"Mahler is matter-of-fact even in the supreme metaphysical sense, in that he jettisoned the aesthetic illusion of meaningful totality which no longer existed, if indeed it ever did. Mahler, whose uncompromising spirituality separated him from the hedonism of his age, from Debussy and from Strauss and whose mind selflessly strove to conceive of something that goes beyond mere existence - Mahler discovered the impossibility of such a task simply by refusing to be deflected from his path. A metaphysician like no other composer since Beethoven, he made the impossibility of metaphysics his central belief, even while battering his head against the brick wall this represented. His world, like that of his compatriot Franz Kafka, is a world infinitely full of hope, although not for us."

- Adorno, Quasi una Fantasia