Jacques Manheit, a baritone with the Olomouc opera is among the first to take note not only of Gustav Mahler's fanatical fidelity to text, but also of his profound love and respect for Wagner. Manheit’s relationship with the legendary symphonist is immortalized by Norman Albrecht, in his book, Why Mahler?, in the following terms:
"Manheit sees him one day at breakfast, looking glum. Mahler mentions that his father is sick.
[The] next morning on my way to the theatre [writes the baritone], I saw a man running demented, weeping loudly, through the streets. With some difficulty, I recognized Mahler. Remembering the previous day's events, I asked anxiously, "In heaven's name, has something happened to your father?''
"Worse, worse, much worse," howled Mahler. "The worst has happened. The Master has died."
It was 13 February 1883, Richard Wagner had been taken from us."