Tiny House in a Landscape

mahler maiernigg

I discovered your blog a few months ago and have been lurking very consistently since. Like most, I love the Tiny House in a Landscape feature and thought I would pass on these. I was listening to my local classical music station yesterday and the host was talking about how Gustav Mahler’s wife built a “composing house” for her husband so that he could work in peace. I did an internet search and it turns out, he had THREE tiny composing houses, two in Austria (Maiernigg & Steinbach) and one in Italy (Toblach). -Erin Harrington

mahler steinbach

mahler toblach

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Em - October 20, 2012 Reply

These are wonderful and the environments all so different!

Ken Ahlberg - October 20, 2012 Reply

Norwegian composer, Evard Grieg, famous for Hall of the Mountain King, had a composing house next to the fjord his estate was on in Bergen, Norway. It contained a desk, chair, piano and stove. It is an absolutely beautiful setting. Worth visiting.

Elektra - October 20, 2012 Reply

I’m dying to know more about what his daily life was like inside the tiny houses…Also, the waterfront one is prime real estate, so did he own 3 plots of land, or how did that work? Is this something he could afford due to his fame, or could any person do this? Just curious.

    Erin - October 22, 2012 Reply

    I haven’t found out a ton about what his life was like inside the houses, but I do know that each was built near to a summer house rented by his family, and all at different times. I’m thinking he probably did not own the land, but those who did were happy to be a patron to the composer.
    I read two anecdotes about his life in the houses. One was that Mahler was a very early riser, and demanded that his breakfast be brought to the house before he arrived. But, he would not abide seeing the servant who brought his breakfast as he walked out to the hut (it would break his creative concentration), so the servant would have to take a separate, more circuitous, path back to the main house.
    The other anecdote was about the house in Steinbach. Opposite the lake (on the other side of the house) is an imposing rockface. A visitor came to the house and looked up at the mountain in awe, and Mahler remarked “You don’t need to look – I have composed all this away!” So it would make sense that he was basically using the houses up. Once he had ‘composed away’ the landscape, he had to move on!

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