Today is the 132nd birthday of Alma Mahler.
Though she is often remembered as the wife of Gustav, her own career as a musician and composer is neglected. Alma studied piano from an early age and took composition lessons with Josef Labor and Alexander von Zemlinsky. When she married in 1902 Gustav required her to give up her own composing to focus on the home and future family.
Her works were primarily lieder, though there is evidence of instrumental works as well as part of an opera. Only 17 songs survive. Most were published in her lifetime after the death of Gustav. Her papers are at the University of Pennsylvania.
Here is a recording of Alma’s “In meines Vaters Garten”: