"she smoked, listened to Mahler and Fauré "
Gustav Mahler 1892
Public DomainGustav Mahler 1892 - Credit: Leonhard Berlin-Bieber (1841–1931)
Gustav Mahler (1860 – 1911) was an Austrian composer and one of the leading conductors of his generation. He was born in Bohemia, in what was then Austria-Hungary.  He was renowned as a conductor during his lifetime. As a composer, he gained wide popularity only after periods of neglect, including a ban on its performance in much of Europe during the Nazi era.  After 1945 his music was rediscovered and gained popularity, making Mahler one of the most frequently performed and recorded of all composers.  In 1897 he was appointed as director of the Vienna Court Opera – he converted to Catholicism from Judaism to secure the post.  Late in his life he was briefly director of New York's Metropolitan Opera and the New York Philharmonic. 

Gabriel Urbain Fauré (1845 - 1924) was a French composer, organist, pianist and teacher. He was one of the foremost French composers of his generation, and his musical style influenced many 20th century composers. ‘Clair de lune’ is one of his best-known works. Fauré had many admirers in England, but his music, though known in other countries, took decades more to become widely accepted.

Mahler and Fauré have been described as linking the end of Romanticism with the modernism of the second quarter of the 20th century.