n the summer of 1908, Gustav Mahler writes his friend, conductor Bruno Walter, from Toblach: “First, I went about making myself at home here. This time, however, I not only have to adjust my surroundings, but the way I live, as well.“ What had happened? In the spring of 1907, the Viennese press had launched a new hate and slander campaign against Mahler as director of the court opera, and this time, successfully: Mahler had concluded he had no choice but to relinquish his position. Holidays in Maiernigg by Lake Wörth (German: Wörthersee) had been supposed to bring rest and tranquillity following this turbulent period, but only a few days after their arrival, Mahler’s oldest daughter, Maria (‘Putzi’), developed symptoms of scarlet fever, and died on 12 July. And as though this had not been enough, shortly thereafter, Mahler was diagnosed with a heart ailment, which, although at the time not life-threatening, was nevertheless interpreted by the composer as his death sentence.