Carl Viktor Blumenthal (1868-1947).

  • Profession: Doctor of Medicine. General practitioner.
  • Residences: Maiernigg.
  • Relation to Mahler: Year 1907Health.
  • Correspondence with Mahler: 
  • Born: 1868.
  • Died: 1947.
  • Buried: Unknown.

Med. Rat Dr. Carl Blumenthal. Viktring, Karnten, Tel. Klagenfurt 337.

In 1907, Mahler’s world dramatically changed when he witnessed the death of his young daughter just five days after his 47th birthday. His wife’s subsequent collapse from exhaustion prompted a visit by the local physician. Dr. Blumenthal reassured Frau Mahler that her health was fine. Then, as if on whim, he examined the maestro, only to discover a heart murmur, becoming the first to discover Mahler’s rheumatic valve disease.

Eventually confirmed by the famed Viennese cardiologist Friedrich Kovacs (1861-1931), Mahler’s diagnosis, the sounds of which likely meant mitral stenosis and regurgitation, required a strict regimen of rest; Kovacs even forced Mahler to carry a pedometer to measure (and thus limit) his exertion. Although typical for that time, these restrictions made Mahler feel like an invalid, filling his brain with thoughts of imminent death. The result was the Ninth Symphony of 1909. 

A street is named after Dr. Blumenthal (Blumenthal-gasse in Klagenfurt am Worthersee). Vitkring is south of Klagenfurt near Maiernigg.

If you have found any errors or text needing citation, please notify us by selecting that text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

Error report

The following text will be sent to our editors: