“Mahler, Nietzsche and the Pernerstorfer Circle: Philosophical Resonances in the Wunderhorn Symphonies”
My research clarifies and contextualizes Gustav Mahler's interest in Friedrich Nietzsche by situating his own receptions of the philosopher amongst his peers, members of the Pernerstorfer Circle who attended the University of Vienna together in the 1870s. The paucity of Mahler's comments about Nietzsche have hindered in-depth study of his interest in the latter, particularly beyond the bounds of Mahler's Third Symphony, which sets a text by Nietzsche. By examining Nietzsche's reception amongst the Pernerstorfer Circle, a group of young men whose ideas are more adequately documented than Mahler's and who shared some of his philosophical leanings, this dissertation provides a nuanced view of Nietzsche's significance to Mahler and the ways in which it influenced elements of his early compositional style.
Supervisor: Steven Huebner