Mariss Jansons: How I came to Mahler

Mariss Jansons: How I came to Mahler

Why Mahler

norman lebrecht

April 12, 2023

I have been unable to access the 2012 Lebrecht Interview with Mariss Jansons from the BBC (pictured).

By way of compensation, here is Mariss talking to UE about his favourite composer.

How we miss him now.



  • Gustavo says:

    Though I am happy for Mariss that he didn’t have to witness the fall of mankind, brought about by globalisation, climate change, neo-nationalism, saber-rattling despots, and the loss of any healing creativity.

  • Paul Johnson says:

    He is greatly missed. Like Abbado and Haitink, no ego and true servant of the composer.

  • Barry Guerrero says:

    I know he was a very good conductor, in general. And I know he was a very nice person. I’m sorry to say that I just find his recorded Mahler to be a tad too light weight for me. I don’t need to have Bernstein/Tennstedt like, ‘end of the world’ performances each and every time either. I think the new Bychkov/Czech Phil. cycle may turn out to be one for the ages (Pentatone). In addition, the Vanska/Minnesota cycle has greatly improved along its trajectory – their new Mahler 9 recording is positively sensational. They’re also getting really great sound quality from BIS. I’ve tried and tried with Jansons, but I have numerous other Mahler recordings I like better. Between his Amsterdam and Munich Mahler, I think his Munich ones have a bit more blood and life to them.

    • Derek H says:


      If you haven’t heard his Mahler 3rd and 7th with the Oslo Philharmonic then try them. I think they have life in them, with more edge than his Amsterdam Mahler.

      • Barry Guerrero says:

        The Oslo Mahler 7th I liked very much. In fact, all three of his M7 recordings are quite good (Oslo, Munich and Amsterdam). I don’t feel the Oslo M3 is nearly as good. Some folks make a big deal over his Munich M3, but I think the late Haitink one (with the BRSO) is better.

  • Evan Tucker says:

    Mahler was his favorite???

    There were a good ten or twelve he did better.