The Symphony No. 3 by Gustav Mahler was written between 1893 and 1896; It is his longest piece and is the longest symphony in the standard repertoire, with a typical performance lasting around ninety to one hundred minutes.
In its final form, the work has six movements:
1. Kräftig. Entschieden;
2. Tempo di Menuetto;
3. Comodo (Scherzando);
4. Sehr langsam—Misterioso;
5. Lustig im Tempo und keck im Ausdruck;
As with each of his first four symphonies, Mahler originally provided a programme of sorts to explain the narrative of the piece. In the third symphony this took the form of titles for each movement. There was originally a seventh movement, "What the Child Tells Me", but this was eventually dropped, becoming instead the last movement of the Symphony No. 4.
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. 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 metre, quotes extensively from Mahler's early song "Ablösung im Sommer" (Relief in Summer). In the trio section, a complete mood changes from playful to contemplative occurs with an off-stage post horn (or flugelhorn) solo. 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" 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 great 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. 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.
Conductor: Leonard Bernstein & NY Philharmonic.
8 лет назад