«Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?’ » (John 11:25, 26).
Gustav Mahler was an Austrian composer and orchestra conductor who lived in the last part of the nineteenth century and the first part of the twentieth century. He only lived for fifty years, but in his music he left evidence of his indisputable talent, and he became one of the greatest figures of the post-romanticism.
In 1892, just as we did last year, people had to be confined to their homes because of an epidemic. In their case it was cholera, and Mahler had to shelter at home for some time until the disease passed.
Mahler survived that crisis and several other, and afterwards he composed his Symphony No. 2, “The Resurrection,” one of his best-known and most powerful symphonies.
Crises can destroy us or elevate us, and many great things can come from a situation of crisis that is handled well. As in Mahler’s case, the things that we strive for may not be valued by everyone else, but the effort to bring them to life is still worthwhile.
Another of Mahler’s great symphonies is his No. 8, «Symphony of the One Thousand. » When it was played for the first time, Mahler stood in front of the hundreds and hundreds of musicians who had participated, walked up the stairs to the area where the children’s choir was located, and personally shook the hand of each child.
Mahler came from a humble background, and in spite of all his fame and the prestige he had acquired, he never forgot where he came from, not the importance of thanking the people who shared in his path to success.
No matter the applause we receive or the great things we achieve, let’s always remember that we should value and thank everyone who has contributed to the music of our life.
Mahler lost his siblings and his parents as well as a daughter. Shortly after, he learned that a heart problem would end his own life soon, but in no way did this keep him from going on to produce some of his greatest works.
You can read more about the “Resurrection” symphony and you will see that all through the work, the composer was asking about death and about the very existence of humankind, but at the end he recognizes that that we belong to God, that He loves us, and that He will give us eternal life after our death.