Alma Maria Schindler was considered a beautiful woman, something of a prize, but at what cost? She had innumerable lovers and even more admirers, yet she is most famous for her marriage to the composer and conductor Gustav Mahler. There is no doubt that Alma affected Gustav hugely and his musical works are driven by his passion as well as a fear of his wife. This lecture explores the world of the Mahlers, it examines Alma’s many relationships and the impact her narcissistic and frequently cruel behaviour had on her husband, who died far too young. It illustrates this with a close scrutiny of Mahler’s music and how it responds to the pain and anguish as well as the undoubted love he had for her.