Gustav Mahler - Symphony No.5 - I, Trauermarsch: In gemessenem Schritt. Streng. Wie ein Kondukt


Symphony No.5, first movement "Trauermarsch: In gemessenem Schritt. Streng. Wie ein Kondukt". Author: Gustav Mahler (1860-1911). The Symphony No. 5 by Gustav Mahler was composed in 1901 and 1902, mostly during the summer months at Mahler's cottage at Maiernigg. Among its most distinctive features are the funereal trumpet solo that opens the work and the frequently performed Adagietto. The musical canvas and emotional scope of the work, which lasts over an hour, are huge. After its premiere, Mahler is reported to have said, "Nobody understood it. I wish I could conduct the first performance fifty years after my death." The work is in five movements: 1. Trauermarsch (Funeral March) (C-sharp minor). 2. Stürmisch bewegt, mit größter Vehemenz (Moving stormily, with the greatest vehemence) (A minor). 3. Scherzo (D major). 4. Adagietto (F major). 5. Rondo-Finale (D major). The first two movements constitute Part I of the symphony (as designated by Mahler in the score), the long Scherzo constitutes Part II, and the last two movements constitute Part III. The piece is generally regarded as Mahler's most conventional symphony up to that point, but from such an unconventional composer it still had many peculiarities. It almost has a four movement structure, as the first two can easily be viewed as essentially a whole. The symphony also ends with a Rondo, in the classical style. Some peculiarities are the funeral march that opens the piece (starting with a rhythmic figure that unmistakably references the opening notes of Beethoven's 5th symphony), and the Adagietto for harp and strings that interrupts the booming score.

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