Mahler was in Hallstadt once and went by bike to Ischl to visit Brahms. (I cannot guarantee these place-names.) Brahms was having one of his bad days and railed against modern composers. "What do they think they're doing?" he said. "There's no such thing as a new invention, music has come to a dead-end. It can't be developed any further!" Mahler listened in silence. They went out for a walk and when they were crossing a bridge Mahler stopped suddenly, pointed excitedly at the water and called out: "Look, Herr Doktor! Look at that..." "What is it?" asked Brahms. "Down there, down there!" shouted Mahler, leaning over the parapet. "Can't you see, there goes the last wave...!" And Brahms was forced to concede a smile as he gazed after the last new wave.

Ernst Decsey, in Norman Lebrecht's "Mahler Remembered"

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