The demands of both opera conducting and administration meant that Mahler could only devote the summer months to composition. Working in the Austrian countryside he completed nine symphonies, richly Romantic in idiom, often monumental in scale and extraordinarily eclectic in their range of musical references and styles. He also composed a series of eloquent, often poignant songs, many themes from which were reworked in his symphonic scores. An anti-Semitic campaign against Mahler in the Viennese press threatened his position at the Hofoper, and in 1907 he accepted an invitation to become Principal Conductor of the Metropolitan Opera and later the New York Philharmonic. In 1911 he contracted a bacterial infection and returned to Vienna. When he died a few months before his 51st birthday, Mahler had just completed part of his Tenth Symphony and was still working on sketches for other movements.
from notes by Andrew Stewart © 2007