Mahler was scarcely recognised as a great composer until the middle of the 1960s, when his music started to make a massive impact. In 1991, thirty recordings of his symphonies were released in one month. This film explores Mahler's life: his childhood, surrounded by tragedy and abuse; his driven adulthood, torn between life as a composer and conductor, and his passionate and pained love-life. This programme examines his music, embracing religion, nihilism, humanism, the revolutionary and the mundane. Reconstructions, archive footage, radio interviews with many prominent artists and writers. The documentary is set in Vienna, Budapest, Hamburg and the Czech Republic.