The Works Of Gustav Mahler

2418 Words Oct 9th, 2014 10 Pages
Before gaining positive reception, the works of Gustav Mahler were rejected by his contemporaries for their incomprehensibility. In the 1960s Mahler boom, his compositions soon became staples in the orchestral literature (Botstein, 2002); the newer generation embraced them unsparingly, evincing the gradual apprehension of the intricate emotions embodied. Mahler’s distinctive qualities implore thorough study in order to understand how it brought about such perplexing phenomenon. Within the context of Mahler’s Second Symphony, this essay will focus on the following aspects: (i) its place within composer’s output, (ii) the inspiration leading to its conception, (iii) the composer’s hallmark, (iv) customary and innovative characteristics, (v) Classical and Romantic attributes, and (vi) performance practices. AMIDST MAHLER’S OUTPUT
Mahler’s composing activities only took place in his spare time. He nevertheless completed several song cycles and nine symphonies, with the tenth unfinished and another – Das Lied von der Erde – that is a symphony in all but name (Franklin, 2010). Although his oeuvre seems limited, his symphonic works are some of the most expansive in duration, orchestral (and choral) forces and range of musical expressions.
Cooke (1980) categorized the Second Symphony into the first of Mahler’s three creative phases. Along with the first four symphonies and other song cycles, this period is predominated by Des Knaben Wunderhorn, an anthology of German folk poems.…
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