— Tom Lehrer American singer-songwriter and mathematician 1928
Introduction to "Alma"
That Was the Year That Was (1965)
Contexto: Last December 13th, there appeared in the newspapers the juiciest, spiciest, raciest obituary it has ever been my pleasure to read.
It was that of a lady named Alma Mahler Gropius Werfel, who had, in her lifetime, managed to acquire as lovers practically all of the top creative men in central Europe. And, among these lovers, who were listed in the obituary, by the way, which is what made it so interesting, there were three whom she went so far as to marry: One of the leading composers of the day, Gustav Mahler, composer of "Das Lied von der Erde" and other light classics, one of the leading architects, Walter Gropius, of the "Bauhaus" school of design, and one of the leading writers, Franz Werfel, author of the "Song of Bernadette" and other masterpieces.
It's people like that who make you realize how little you've accomplished. It is a sobering thought, for example, that when Mozart was my age, he had been dead for two years.