When Mahler is sad, it is a complete sadness; nothing can comfort him, it’s like a weeping child. And when he’s happy, he’s happy the way a child is—all the way. And that’s one of the keys to the Mahler puzzle: He is like a child; his feelings are extreme, exaggerated, like young people’s feelings. That’s another reason why it’s so especially right to have you come to his birthday celebration; I think young people can understand Mahler’s feelings even better than older ones. Once you understand that secret of his music—the voice of the child—you can really love his music.

Leonard Bernstein, “Who is Gustav Mahler?” (via beethoven)