In the years approaching the centenary of Mahler's death, this book provides both summation of, and starting point for, an assessment and reassessment of the composer's output and creative activity. Authored by a collection of leading specialists in Mahler scholarship, its opening chapters place the composer in socio-political and cultural contexts, and discuss his work in light of developments in the aesthetics of musical meaning. Part II examines from a variety of analytical, interpretative and critical standpoints the complete range of his output, from early student works and unfinished fragments to the sketches and performing versions of the tenth symphony. Part III evaluates Mahler's role as interpreter of his own and other composers' works during his lifelong career as operatic and orchestral conductor. Part IV addresses Mahler's fluctuating reception history from scholarly, journalistic, creative, public and commercial perspectives, with special attention being paid to his compositional legacy.