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|Symphony No. 3|
|by Gustav Mahler|
Mahler in 1898
|Date||9 June 1902|
|Performers||Orchester des Allgemeines Deutschen Musikvereins|
The Symphony No. 3 by Gustav Mahler was written in 1896,or possibly only completed in that year, but composed between 1893 and 1896. It is his longest piece and is the longest symphony in the standard repertoire, with a typical performance lasting around 90 to 105 minutes. It was voted one of the ten greatest symphonies of all time in a survey of conductors carried out by the BBC Music Magazine.
Gustav Mahler was an Austro-Bohemian late-Romantic composer, and one of the leading conductors of his generation. As a composer he acted as a bridge between the 19th century Austro-German tradition and the modernism of the early 20th century. While in his lifetime his status as a conductor was established beyond question, his own music gained wide popularity only after periods of relative neglect which included a ban on its performance in much of Europe during the Nazi era. After 1945 his compositions were rediscovered by a new generation of listeners; Mahler then became one of the most frequently performed and recorded of all composers, a position he has sustained into the 21st century. In 2016, a BBC Music Magazine survey of 151 conductors ranked three of his symphonies in the top ten symphonies of all time.
In its final form, the work has six movements, grouped into two Parts:
The first movement alone, with a normal duration of a little more than thirty minutes, sometimes forty, forms Part One of the symphony. Part Two consists of the other five movements and has a duration of about sixty to seventy minutes.
As with each of his first four symphonies, Mahler originally provided a programme of sorts to explain the narrative of the piece. He did not reveal the structure and content to the public. But, at different times, he shared evolving versions of a program for the third symphony with various friends, including: Max Marschalk, a music critic; violist Natalie Bauer-Lechner, a close friend and confidante; and Anna von Mildenburg, the dramatic soprano and Mahler's lover during the summer of 1896 when he was completing the symphony. Bauer-Lechner wrote in her private journal that Mahler said, "You can't imagine how it will sound!"
Natalie [Natalia Anna Juliana] Bauer-Lechner was an Austrian violist who is best known to musicology for having been a close and devoted friend of Gustav Mahler in the period between 1890 and the start of Mahler’s engagement to Alma Schindler in December 1901. During this period, she kept a private journal which provides a unique picture of Mahler's personal, professional and creative life during and just after his thirties, including an exclusive preview of the structure, form, and content of his third symphony.
Anna von Mildenburg was an eminent Wagnerian soprano of Austrian nationality. Known as Anna Bahr-Mildenburg after her 1909 marriage, she had been a protégé of the composer/conductor Gustav Mahler during his musical directorship at the Hamburg State Opera. In 1898, Mahler took her to the Vienna Opera, where she established herself as one of the great stars during his celebrated tenure there as music director.
In its simplest form, the program consists of a title for each of the six movements:
Mahler, however, elaborated on this basic scheme in various letters. In an 1896 letter to Max Marschalk, he called the whole "A Summer's Midday Dream," and within Part One, distinguished two sections, "Introduction: Pan awakes" and "I. Summer marches in (Bacchic procession)".In a June 1896 letter to Anna von Mildenburg, Mahler reaffirmed that he conceived the first movement in two sections: I. What the stony mountains tell me; II. Summer marches in. In another letter to Mildenburg from Summer 1896, he said that "Pan" seemed to him the best overall title (Gesamttitel) for the symphony, emphasizing that he was intrigued by Pan's two meanings, a Greek god and a Greek word meaning "all."
All these titles were dropped before publication in 1898.
Mahler originally envisioned a seventh movement, "Heavenly Life" (alternatively, "What the Child Tells Me"), but he eventually dropped this, using it instead as the last movement of the Symphony No. 4. Indeed, several musical motifs taken from "Heavenly Life" appear in the fifth (choral) movement of the Third Symphony.
Symphony No. 4 in G major by Gustav Mahler was written in 1899 and 1900, though it incorporates a song originally written in 1892. The song, "Das himmlische Leben", presents a child's vision of Heaven. It is sung by a soprano in the work's fourth and final movement. Although typically described as being in the key of G major, the symphony employs a progressive tonal scheme.
The symphony, particularly due to the extensive number of movements and their marked differences in character and construction, is a unique work. The opening movement, colossal in its conception (much like the symphony itself), roughly takes the shape of sonata form, insofar as there is an alternating presentation of two theme groups; however, the themes are varied and developed with each presentation, and the typical harmonic logic of the sonata form movement—particularly the tonic statement of second theme group material in the recapitulation—is changed.[ clarification needed ] The symphony starts with a modified theme from the fourth movement of Brahms' first symphony with the same rhythm, but many of the notes are changed.
The opening gathers itself slowly into a rousing orchestral march. A solo tenor trombone passage states a bold (secondary) melody that is developed and transformed in its recurrences.
At the apparent conclusion of the development, several solo snare drums "in a high gallery" play a rhythmic passage lasting about thirty seconds and the opening passage by eight horns is repeated almost exactly.
As described above, Mahler dedicated the second movement to "the flowers on the meadow". In contrast to the violent forces of the first movement, it starts as a graceful menuet, but also features stormier episodes.
The third movement, a scherzo, with alternating sections in 2
4 and 6
8 meter, quotes extensively from Mahler's early song "Ablösung im Sommer" (Relief in Summer).
In the trio section, the mood changes from playful to contemplative occurs with an off-stage post horn (or flugelhorn) solo.
This posthorn episode closely resembles standardised posthorn signals in Austria and Prussia of the time.The posthorn melody is suddenly interrupted (in measure 345) by a trumpet fanfare representing a literal quotation of the Austrian military signal for falling out (Abblasen). Another important quotation in the movement is a Spanish folk melody of jota aragonesa used by Mikhail Glinka in Caprice brillante and by Franz Liszt in Rhapsodie espagnole . Most probably it borrowed here from Ferruccio Busoni's transcription of the Rhapsodie for piano and orchestra, as the harmonies are almost identical and passages are equally almost similar. Busoni himself was the first to remark on this quotation in 1910.
The reprise of the scherzo music is unusual, as it is interrupted several times by the post-horn melody.
At this point, in the sparsely instrumentated fourth movement, we hear an alto solo singing a setting of Friedrich Nietzsche's "Midnight Song" ("Zarathustra's roundelay") from Also sprach Zarathustra ("O Mensch! Gib acht!" ("O man! Take heed!")), with thematic material from the first movement woven into it.
The cheerful fifth movement, "Es sungen drei Engel", is one of Mahler's Des Knaben Wunderhorn songs, (whose text itself is loosely based on a 17th-century church hymn, which Paul Hindemith later used in its original form in his Symphony "Mathis der Maler") about the redemption of sins and comfort in belief.
Here, a children's choir imitating bells and a female chorus join the alto solo.
Of the finale, Bruno Walter wrote,
In the last movement, words are stilled—for what language can utter heavenly love more powerfully and forcefully than music itself? The Adagio, with its broad, solemn melodic line, is, as a whole—and despite passages of burning pain—eloquent of comfort and grace. It is a single sound of heartfelt and exalted feelings, in which the whole giant structure finds its culmination.[ This quote needs a citation ]
The movement begins very softly with a broad D-major chorale melody, which slowly builds to a loud and majestic conclusion culminating on repeated D major chords with bold statements on the timpani.
The last movement in particular had a triumphant critical success. The Swiss critic William Ritter, in his review of the premiere given in 1902, said of the last movement: "Perhaps the greatest Adagio written since Beethoven". Another anonymous critic writing in the Allgemeine Musik-Zeitung wrote about the Adagio: "It rises to heights which situate this movement among the most sublime in all symphonic literature". Mahler was called back to the podium 12 times, and the local newspaper reported that “the thunderous ovation lasted no less than fifteen minutes.”
The symphony is scored for large orchestra, consisting of the following:
Text from Friedrich Nietzsche's Also sprach Zarathustra : the "Midnight Song"
Text from Des Knaben Wunderhorn
The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians[ who? ] represents the symphony's progressive tonal scheme as 'd/F—D' More casually it is described as being in D minor. The first movement certainly begins in this key but, by its end, has defined the relative F major as the tonic. The finale concludes in D major, the tonic major, which is not unusual for minor key, multi-movement works. Throughout the symphony, traditional tonality is employed in an enterprising manner with clear purpose [ vague ].
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The piece is performed in concert less frequently than Mahler's other symphonies[ citation needed ], due in part to its great length and the huge forces required. Despite this, it is a popular work and has been recorded by most major orchestras and conductors.
When it is performed, a short interval is sometimes taken between the first movement (which alone lasts around half an hour) and the rest of the piece. This is in agreement with the manuscript copy of the full score (held in the Pierpont Morgan Library, New York), where the end of the first movement carries the inscription Folgt eine lange Pause! ("there follows a long pause").The inscription is not found in the score as published.
The Adagio movement was arranged by Yoon Jae Lee in 2011 for a smaller orchestra. This version was premiered by Ensemble 212 with Lee as conductor in New York on the eve of the tenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks. Subsequently, Lee arranged the five remaining movements for smaller orchestra as part of his Mahler Chamber Project. The orchestral reduction of the entire symphony was premiered in October 2015 by Ensemble 212, mezzo-soprano Hyona Kim, and the Young New Yorkers' Chorus Women's Ensemble.
The second movement was arranged by Benjamin Britten in 1941 for a smaller orchestra. This version was published by Boosey & Hawkes as What the Wild Flowers Tell Me in 1950.
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The final movement was used as background music in one episode of the 1984 television series Call to Glory and on an episode of the BBC's Coast programme, during a description of the history of HMS Temeraire. It also served as background music during the "Allegory" segment of the Athens 2004 Summer Olympics opening ceremony cultural show.
A section from the Fourth Movement "Midnight Song" features in Luchino Visconti's 1971 film Death in Venice , where it is presented as the music that Gustav von Aschenbach composes before he dies.
The work is also referenced in the pop singer Prince's song ("Gustav Mahler #3 is jamming in the box") Good Love from his Crystal Ball album & the Bright Lights, Big City soundtrack.
Symphony No. 5 by Gustav Mahler was composed in 1901 and 1902, mostly during the summer months at Mahler's holiday cottage at Maiernigg. Among its most distinctive features are the trumpet solo that opens the work with a rhythmic motive similar to the opening of Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 5, the horn solos in the third movement and the frequently performed Adagietto.
Symphony No. 1 in D major by Gustav Mahler was mainly composed between late 1887 and March 1888, though it incorporates music Mahler had composed for previous works. It was composed while Mahler was second conductor at the Leipzig Opera, Germany. Although in his letters Mahler almost always referred to the work as a symphony, the first two performances described it as a symphonic poem or tone poem. The work was premièred at the Vigadó Concert Hall, Budapest, in 1889, but was not well received. Mahler made some major revisions for the second performance, given at Hamburg in October 1893; further alterations were made in the years prior to the first publication, in late 1898. Some modern performances and recordings give the work the title Titan, despite the fact that Mahler only used this label for two early performances, and never after the work had reached its definitive four-movement form in 1896.
Symphony No. 2 by Gustav Mahler, known as the Resurrection Symphony, was written between 1888 and 1894, and first performed in 1895. This symphony was one of Mahler's most popular and successful works during his lifetime. It was his first major work that established his lifelong view of the beauty of afterlife and resurrection. In this large work, the composer further developed the creativity of "sound of the distance" and creating a "world of its own", aspects already seen in his First Symphony. The work has a duration of eighty to ninety minutes and is conventionally labelled as being in the key of C minor; the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians labels the work's tonality as C minor–E♭ major. It was voted the fifth-greatest symphony of all time in a survey of conductors carried out by the BBC Music Magazine.
Symphony No. 7 by Gustav Mahler was written in 1904–05, with repeated revisions to the scoring. It is sometimes referred to by the title Song of the Night, which Mahler never knew. Although the symphony is often described as being in the key of E minor, its tonal scheme is more complicated. The symphony's first movement moves from B minor (introduction) to E minor, and the work ends with a rondo finale in C major. Thus, as Dika Newlin has pointed out, "in this symphony Mahler returns to the ideal of 'progressive tonality' which he had abandoned in the Sixth". The complexity of the work's tonal scheme was analysed in terms of "interlocking structures" by Graham George.
Symphony No. 6 in A minor by Gustav Mahler is a symphony in four movements, composed in 1903 and 1904. Mahler conducted the work's first performance at the Saalbau concert hall in Essen on May 27, 1906. It is sometimes referred to by the nickname Tragische ("Tragic"). Mahler composed the symphony at what was apparently an exceptionally happy time in his life, as he had married Alma Schindler in 1902, and during the course of the work's composition his second daughter was born. This contrasts with the tragic, even nihilistic, ending of No. 6. Both Alban Berg and Anton Webern praised the work when they first heard it. Berg expressed his opinion of the stature of this symphony in a 1908 letter to Webern:
"Es gibt doch nur eine VI. trotz der Pastorale."
Symphony No. 9 by Gustav Mahler was written between 1908 and 1909, and was the last symphony that he completed. It is actually his tenth symphonic work, as Mahler gave no ordinal number to his symphonic song-cycle Das Lied von der Erde. A typical performance takes about 75 to 90 minutes.
Symphony No. 10 by Gustav Mahler was written in the summer of 1910, and was his final composition. At the time of Mahler's death the composition was substantially complete in the form of a continuous draft, but not fully elaborated or orchestrated, and thus not performable. Only the first movement is regarded as reasonably complete and performable as Mahler intended. Perhaps as a reflection of the inner turmoil he was undergoing at the time, the 10th Symphony is arguably his most dissonant work.
The Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77, was composed by Johannes Brahms in 1878 and dedicated to his friend, the violinist Joseph Joachim. It is Brahms's only violin concerto, and, according to Joachim, one of the four great German violin concerti:
The Germans have four violin concertos. The greatest, most uncompromising is Beethoven's. The one by Brahms vies with it in seriousness. The richest, the most seductive, was written by Max Bruch. But the most inward, the heart's jewel, is Mendelssohn's.
Das Lied von der Erde is a composition for two voices and orchestra written by the Austrian composer Gustav Mahler between 1908 and 1909. Described as a symphony when published, it comprises six songs for two singers who alternate movements.
Kindertotenlieder is a song cycle (1904) for voice and orchestra by Gustav Mahler. The words of the songs are poems by Friedrich Rückert.
The Symphony No. 15 in A major, Op. 141, Dmitri Shostakovich's last, was written in a little over a month during the summer of 1971 in Repino, outside St. Petersburg. It was first performed in Moscow on 8 January 1972 by the All-Union Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra under Maxim Shostakovich.
The Symphony No. 8 in G major, Op. 88, B. 163, is a symphony by Antonín Dvořák, composed in 1889 at Vysoká u Příbramě, Bohemia, on the occasion of his election to the Bohemian Academy of Science, Literature and Arts. Dvořák conducted the premiere in Prague on 2 February 1890. In contrast to other symphonies of both the composer and the period, the music is cheerful and optimistic. It was originally published as Symphony No. 4.
Anton Bruckner's Symphony No. 7 in E major is one of his best-known symphonies. It was written between 1881 and 1883 and was revised in 1885. It is dedicated to Ludwig II of Bavaria. The premiere, given under Arthur Nikisch and the Gewandhaus Orchestra in the opera house at Leipzig on 30 December 1884, brought Bruckner the greatest success he had known in his life. The symphony is sometimes referred to as the "Lyric", though the appellation is not the composer's own, and is seldom used.
Anton Bruckner's Symphony No. 3 in D minor, WAB 103, was dedicated to Richard Wagner and is sometimes known as his "Wagner Symphony". It was written in 1873, revised in 1877 and again in 1889.
Sinfonia (Symphony) is a composition by the Italian composer Luciano Berio which was commissioned by the New York Philharmonic for its 125th anniversary. Composed in 1968–69 for orchestra and eight amplified voices, it is a musically innovative post-serial classical work, with multiple vocalists commenting about musical topics as the piece twists and turns through a seemingly neurotic journey of quotations and dissonant passages. The eight voices are not used in a traditional classical way; they frequently do not sing at all, but speak, whisper and shout words by Claude Lévi-Strauss, whose Le cru et le cuit provides much of the text, excerpts from Samuel Beckett's novel The Unnamable, instructions from the scores of Gustav Mahler and other writings.
Symphony No. 3 is a symphony for orchestra in five movements composed between 1988 and 1995 by Krzysztof Penderecki. It was commissioned and completed for the 100 year celebration of the Munich Philharmonic. Its earliest version, Passacaglia and Rondo, premiered at the International Music Festival Week in Lucerne, Switzerland, on August 20, 1988. It was performed by the Lucerne Festival Orchestra and conducted by Penderecki. The full symphony premiered in Munich on December 8, 1995, and performed by the Munich Philharmonic, again under the composer's baton.
The Symphony No. 2, by Walter Piston is a symphony composed in 1943.
Alexander Zemlinsky or Alexander von Zemlinsky was an Austrian composer, conductor, and teacher.
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